France on Tuesday expressed its opposition to any action that would increase the tension in the South China Sea.
The Embassy of France in the Philippines issued the statement days after the near-collision of a Chinese coast guard vessel and a Philippine coast guard patrol boat off the Spratly Islands.
"France is following the recent events in the South China Sea with the utmost attention. It recalls its commitment to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea," the embassy said.
"Respect for international law, in particular freedom of navigation, is one of France’s priorities for action. We are opposed to any action that increases tensions and jeopardizes regional stability and the international order based on the rule of law," it added.
The United Kingdom earlier expressed concern over the supposed “dangerous conduct” against Filipino vessels in the South China Sea, British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufils said on Monday.
“The UK is concerned by continued reports of dangerous conduct towards Filipino vessels in the South China Sea,” British Ambassador to the Philippines Laure Beaufilssaid in a tweet.
She added that the UK remained committed to international law, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in the South China Sea.
In March, Beaufils said the AUKUS security bloc consisting of Australia, UK, and the United States will support the Philippines and neighboring countries by helping deter threats to a rules-based international order and freedom of navigation in the South China Sea amid escalating tensions in the contested waters. —NB, GMA Integrated News