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Taiwan confirms anchoring of French warship off its west coast

ROC Central News Agency

08/12/2021 02:21 PM

Taipei, Aug. 12 (CNA) A French naval warship has anchored in waters off the coast of Changhua County's Fangyuan Township, an official from Taiwan's Coast Guard Administration (CGA) confirmed on Thursday without disclosing any further details.

A coast guard patrol boat had been deployed to the scene to inspect the situation, the official from the Central Branch of the CGA told CNA, but would not elaborate on why the French military vessel had anchored in Taiwanese waters.

The Ministry of National Defense (MND) said its military continues to monitor movements at sea and in the air around Taiwan, and described the current situation as normal.

Meanwhile, the French Office in Taipei, France's de facto embassy in Taiwan, declined to comment on the matter.

The spotting of the naval warship came to light after the New27Brigade fan page on Facebook posted on Wednesday that a French frigate believed to be the FS Provence (D-652) had anchored in waters outside of Changhua.

"There have been no previous reports about the French Navy's activities in the Asia-Pacific region," the post read, adding that it believed it was the FS Provence but that it was not 100 percent certain.

It also provided a link to pinpoint the ship's current position on MarineTraffic, an open platform that provides real-time information on the movements of ships and their current location in harbors and ports.

In the past two years, military vessels from the United States as well as the United Kingdom have sailed near Taiwan in what is widely seen as a show of support for Taipei, amid increased military activity by China in the area.

China's actions followed steps taken by the U.S. under the Trump administration and the current Taiwanese administration which Beijing sees as potentially changing the status quo and leading to Taiwan pushing for formal independence.

(By Wu Che-hao, Chung Yu-chen and Ko Lin)

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