France Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that European countries have started to mobilize to widely support upholding the rule of law in South China Sea/West Philippine Sea.
“France fully supports a code of conduct in the South China Sea which should be legally binding, comprehensive, effective, and consistent with international law. We believe negotiations are the way to go,” she said at the Asia security summit.
She emphasized that “we should be very clear that the fait accompli is not a fait accepted.”
“I mentioned British helicopters and ships joining our task group when it sails through the South China Sea. No less than five French ships sailed in this region in 2017,” she added. “Europeans have started to mobilize more widely in support of this endeavour.”
She also noted that German observers also embarked on French warships. “I believe we should broaden this effort even further,” she said.
“As we see profound asymmetries developing in the region, we see that non-cooperative solutions are becoming ever more likely. This should be a cause to ponder, and to worry. Just because the floodlights are on Panmunjon (Korean denuclearization) right now doesn’t mean that the South China Sea issue will go away. Recent events have alerted us to that,” she said.