France has denied rumors of a possible sale of two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships to China.
French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian denied the wide spread speculation of possible arms sales to China after a joint news conference with US secretary of Defense Ash Carter at the Pentagon on Monday.
“There is an embargo on any sale of weapon to China, which we will respect,” Le Drian told Voice of America’s Mandarin Service today.
France was one of the members of the European Union who imposed a sanction on weapon exports to China, a measure taken after Beijing violently cracked down student protests in Tiananmen Square on June 4th, 1989.
In May, France sent a Mistral-class amphibian ship to China to participate in a joint maritime exercise with China’s People’s Liberation Army. It prompted widespread speculation that France was considering sale of two warships of the same class which were built for Russia.