tirsdag 10. september 2019

China warns the UK could be committing 'hostile action' if it sends carrier into territory

Britain has been warned by China that the deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea could be viewed as a “hostile action”. The MoD plans to send Britain’s new aircraft carrier to the Asia Pacific region on her first operational deployment, due in 2021. The government is keen to assert freedom of navigation through international waters and, alongside US and Australian allies, has been forthright in defending such actions against an increasingly belligerent China. The planned deployment will see F-35 stealth jets from the US Marine Corps embarked on the 65,000 ton ship.

Speaking in London last week Major General Su Guanghui, China’s Defence Attaché to the UK, said: “If the US and UK join hands in a challenge or violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, that would be hostile action”. China reacted angrily last year when HMS Albion, one of the Royal Navy’s amphibious assault ships, transited the South China Sea, close to the Paracel Islands, over which China, along with other nations, claim sovereignty. At the time the British government was accused of “provocative actions” in the contested region.