French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna said China should rethink its assertive behavior in the South China Sea and Taiwan Strait because “the world does not need a new crisis.”
Beijing shrugged off France’s criticism.
Colonna said in a speech at the Australian Press Club in Canberra on Monday (December 4, 2023), “We are certainly worried about what the Australian Navy encountered a few days ago and what the Philippines encountered a few weeks ago.” Australia accused the
Chinese Navy of destroyers ” On November 14, when the Ningbo approached the Australian frigate Toowoomba, which was sailing through Japan’s exclusive economic zone, it ignored the safety warning issued by the Australian ship not to approach and turned on the hull sonar, resulting in a diving operation to try to untangle it. Australian diver injured after fishing net caught in propeller.
Beijing argued that the encounter took place outside Japanese territorial waters and that the Chinese ship did not cause any harm.
In addition, China and the Philippines have had numerous confrontations in the South China Sea over the past few months, with both sides accusing each other of violating their sovereignty, exacerbating tensions.
Foreign Minister Colonna also said, “In the Taiwan Strait, calm and stability must prevail, and the world certainly does not need a new crisis.”
In response to the French Foreign Minister’s remarks about Taiwan at a regular press conference that day, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that the Taiwan issue is purely China’s internal affairs. China hopes that relevant parties will abide by the one-China principle, work with China to firmly oppose Taiwan independence, and jointly safeguard the stability of the Taiwan Strait. Peace and stability.
France has territories in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, has about 7,000 troops stationed, and sees itself as a powerful country in the Indo-Pacific region.
This week, France’s foreign and defense ministers are in the Indo-Pacific region to strengthen security and economic ties with the region.
On Saturday (December 2), French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu and Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro signed a letter of intent in Manila, Agreed to strengthen military ties, including possible negotiations to allow soldiers from both countries to enter each other’s territory.
However, Foreign Minister Colonna said that France does not seek to contain China. China should be free to pursue economic development, but Beijing also needs to abide by the international order and take actions in line with international norms on issues such as human rights.
China claims that Taiwan is a province that needs to be reunified and that it can use force to achieve reunification if necessary. It regards almost the entire South China Sea as its territorial waters and “opposes any interference from outside the region.”