France continues to sail in WPS: French official

France continues to sail in WPS: French official

France has made it public that it continues to support the freedom of navigation in the West Philippine Sea, a day after President Rodrigo Roa Duterte challenged the United States, Great Britain, and France in helping the Philippines claim its territories in the West Philippine Sea.

"France is very committed to promote and defend the rule of international law that's why our Navy is very often patrolling, cruising in the South China Sea and we will continue [to do so]," French Minister of State Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne told reporters.

"Our defense minister made it very clear during the last Shangri La Dialogue a few weeks ago," he added.

The French Navy's Floréal-class surveillance frigate Vendémiaire conducted a patrol in the South China Sea to assert French presence in the region,last March (photo credit to Philstar)

Last Thursday, Duterte called out the three western countries namely the US, Great Britain, and France to help the Philippines in asserting its rightd in the contested waters after being drenched with criticism that he has failed to confront China over its aggression in the disputed territories.

The French official did not directly answers the call of the President but has underscored that France shares the region's interest in upholding the international laws in the South China Sea since Paris also have territories and soldiers in the Indo-Pacific region.

"It's a proof of our commitment to be sure that freedom of navigation is a fact... is real in the sea," he noted.

The Philippines, which won after the Permanent Arbitration Court ruled against China's invisible demarcation in the disputed waters ( the 9 dash line), temporarily shelved the ruling as it engaged and strengthened ties with Beijing.

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Report from PNA

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