Britain plans to send warship to South China Sea in move likely to irk Beijing
Britain plans to send a warship for next year South China Sea in dispute to carry out exercises of freedom of navigation, said Wednesday Defense Minister Michael Fallon, a move likely angry Beijing.
Britain would increase its presence in the waters after sending four British fighters to joint exercises with Japan in the area last year, he said. China claims most of the energy-rich sea, where neighboring Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also claimed.
“We expect to send a warship to the region next year. We have not finished exactly where this deployment will take place, but we will not be bound by China to navigate the South China Sea,” said Fallon Reuters . “We have the right to freedom of navigation and we will exercise.”
The presence of a British ship threatens to prolong the tensions, the increase of the shipbuilding of China and its position more and more firmly. Fallon’s comments came after British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson said that the two new aircraft carriers of the country would be sent to the region.
Johnson did not say exactly where the ships would be sent once in operation in the year 2020, although the presence of such firepower is likely to increase tensions in the region.
Speaking in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said there are recent comments in the South China Sea was made by the countries of the region.
“The countries of the region work together to safeguard and promote the peace and prosperity of the region, but we see other countries insisting to deal with problems as the situation tends to calm in the South China Sea,” he said. In a newspaper.
China’s construction of military facilities and islands in the South China Sea has provoked international condemnation, while Beijing seeks to restrict freedom of movement and extend its strategic reach.
Britain’s movement could also disrupt links between London and Beijing, undermining efforts to strengthen both governments have called a “golden age” in their relationship while Britain is headed for a divorce with the European Union ” .
We flew RAF Typhoons across the South China Sea last October, and we will exercise whenever we have the opportunity to do so whenever we have ships and planes in the region, “said M. Fallon.
The United States believes that Beijing has added more than 3,200 acres (1,300 hectares) in seven characteristics of the South China Sea in the past three years, construction of airstrips, ports, aircraft hangars and communication equipment.
To counter perceived Chinese aggression, the United States has regularly exercised freedom of navigation exercises that have infuriated Beijing. Earlier this month, the United States sent two bombers from the region, only a few months after sending a warship to take Foret to maneuver within 12 nautical miles of China’s artificial islands.