Military exercise aimed at China planned for CNMI

2:42 pm on 20 March 2017

In a display of military power aimed at China, France is to dispatch one of its powerful Mistral amphibious carriers to lead drills on and around Tinian island in the Northern Marianas.

A mistral-class amphibious assault ship.

A mistral-class amphibious assault ship. Photo: AFP

The Mistral carries helicopters.

The French are to be joined by Japanese, United States and British personnel and assets.

Reuters quoted one source, who could not be identified, saying it will be an amphibious exercise that sends a clear message to China.

The exercise was reportedly scheduled for the second and third week of May.

As China's military strength grows with the addition of aircraft carriers, Beijing is extending its influence beyond its coastal waters into the Pacific.

The move worries Japan and the United States, but is also a concern for France which controls three Pacific territories.