France in contact with China over warship's Taiwan Strait passage

PARIS (Reuters) - France is in contact with Chinese authorities after a French warship passed through the Taiwan Strait earlier this month, a source close to French Defense Minister Florence Parly told Reuters on Thursday.

China’s Defense Ministry said earlier that Beijing lodged stern representations with France about the passage, which comes as the United states and its allies increasingly assert freedom of navigation in international waterways near China.

“The (French) Navy transits through the Taiwan Strait on average once a year without incident or reaction. France reaffirms its attachment to freedom of navigation in line with international maritime law,” the source said.

Reporting by Sophie Louet; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing by Richard Lough