mandag 2. august 2021

Britain Returns to Asia, to China’s Dismay

On July 1, 1997, the government of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth handed over its colony of Hong Kong to sovereign Chinese control. Twenty-four years later, the monarch’s namesake, the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, has arrived in Asia – this time not to hand over a piece of its former empire, but to make a statement of Britain’s intent to support the countries and territories of Southeast Asia, and the world’s shipping, from increasing Chinese aggression, under the U.S.-championed slogan of the free and open Indo-Pacific (FOIP).

HMS Queen Elizabeth is “the largest vessel ever built for the Royal Navy” and can carry up to 40 aircraft. Leading a flotilla into the South China Sea on July 26, it has been engaging in naval exercises throughout its journey since setting sail from Portsmouth in the United Kingdom on May 22.

The mission of HMS Queen Elizabeth in her maiden deployment is not solely focused on showing strength to China.