Drawing together much of the West’s biggest powers, France reportedly intended to sail carriers and head up drills with the United States, Japan and Great Britain in the western Pacific in May. The expected maneuvers were viewed as a way for France to show China it’s military’s strength, Reuters reported Friday, citing sources.
In the second and third weeks of May, the French planned to send their Mistral naval carriers, capable of transporting helicopters, around Tinian island, where it will team up with U.S. and Japanese forces as well as two British helicopters. The island is part of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the U.S., located north of Guam.
Though the sources were anonymous, one made it clear that the future military exercise was directed towards China. "Rather than just being a naval exercise, this amphibious exercise will send a clear message to China," the insider told Reuters.
中國穩步地在太平洋軍事存在 – 而法國在法屬波利尼西亞等地，以及南中國海地區仍然擁有利益。根據去年10月的《國家利益》月刊，中國軍方宣佈在2015年建造第二架航空母艦，預計到2020年潛在到達全面服役，。
China steadily ratcheted its military presence in the Pacific – where France still has a stake in places like French Polynesia – as well as the South China Sea. The Chinese military announced the building of its second aircraft carrier in 2015 and it’s expected to potentially reach full service by 2020, according to The National Interest back in October.
The report stressed France and Britain attempted to create "closer defense ties" with Japan, which planned to send its biggest warship to several Asian nations in and around the South China Sea for a three-month training with the U.S. Navy in May. The drills and trip were reported as Japan’s largest mobilization of its naval forces since World War II.（International Business Times 20170318）