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France to send aircraft carrier to South China Sea to threaten China

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France to send aircraft carrier to South China Sea to threaten China

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Shortly after US President Donald Trump announced he would repudiate the Intermediate Range Nuclear Force (INF) treaty signed with the Soviet Union in 1997, targeting Russia and China, Paris announced that it would send its aircraft carrier, the Charles de Gaulle, to Asian waters. The carrier’s air wing includes Rafale aircraft bearing missiles with nuclear warheads. In the daily La Provence, French Defence Minister Florence Parly said the carrier, which has been under repair since last year, would be sent to the Indian Ocean and South China Sea: “The fact that the Charles de Gaulle will soon be back at sea at full operational capacity will give back its power projection capacity to our naval air force and reinforce its political dimension. It is also scheduled to travel to the Indian Ocean in 2019.” Parly justified the dispatching of the carrier citing the need to defend freedom of navigation, the pretext Washington and its allies have used for provocative naval operations in the South China Sea: “We have always been on the front line of defending the inalienable right of freedom of navigation in international waters. And each time this fundamental principle of international law is threatened, as is currently the case in the South China Sea, we will make known our freedom to navigate in these waters.” She was thus echoing Washington’s accusations—ever since then-US President Barack Obama announced in 2011 a “pivot to Asia” aiming to politically and militarily isolate China—that Beijing is threatening “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. It points to the growing involvement of the European imperialist powers in the war drive in Asia, led above all by Washington, which seeks to defend its fast-crumbling world hegemony against China. At the beginning of this year, France negotiated an agreement with India, a leading rival of China in Asia, allowing it to st...

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