Britain risks tensions to deploy warships to South China Sea

Britain is drawing up plans to send a warship to the South China Sea in a move that is likely to anger the Beijing government and raise tensions at a delicate moment.

Sir Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, confirmed yesterday that the vessel would be deployed next year and told China that she would expect free passage in the disputed waters. The Chinese have faced international condemnation for building islands and military facilities in an area where Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have territorial claims.

Sir Michael, visiting Sydney for talks with his Australian counterpart, said: “We hope to send a warship to the region next year. We have not finalised exactly where that deployment will take place but we won’t be constrained by China from sailing through the South China Sea. We have the right of freedom of navigation and we will exercise it.”

A Type-45 destroyer or an ageing Type-23 frigate is likely to be involved; the first time in at least a decade that Britain has tested the right to conduct such an exercise in the disputed waters. It is a significant change of approach.

Rear-admiral Chris Parry, a former Royal Navy officer, applauded Sir Michael’s announcement. “This is a big deal,” he said. “I have been urging the Americans to challenge the UK to say, ‘Come and join us in doing this because we can’t do it on our own.’ ”

Boris Johnson, accompanying Sir Michael on the visit to Australia, said earlier that Britain would sail two “colossal” aircraft carriers into the disputed waters when they were operational.

In an inflammatory boast about the prowess of the new ships the foreign secretary added: “If you look at these vessels you will see that they are not only longer than the palace of Westminster but more persuasive than most of the arguments you will hear in the House of Commons.”

In Whitehall the comments will have been viewed, perhaps, as unhelpful: North Korea is expected to be ready to fire nuclear intercontinental missiles by next year, and the West urgently wants China to help to contain the threat. More missile tests by Kim Jong-un’s administration are expected in the next few days — and China’s response could determine whether the situation escalates into a serious conflict.

Mr Johnson later appeared to backtrack from his remarks about the aircraft carriers during a question-and-answer session. “We haven’t yet quite decided to do that,” he said. “But they are coming. I don’t want you to go out and start scanning the horizons. But they are coming, they are coming. Don’t expect them tomorrow.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth is undergoing sea trials and will not be able to deploy with jets until the end of 2020 at the earliest, while her sister carrier, HMS Prince of Wales is still being built.

The British warship mission, whatever form it takes, will be fraught. Rear-admiral Parry said that the Chinese military might consider an attack. “The Chinese won’t want to take on the Americans but they might consider making an example of what they consider to be a small nation like us.”


they know what this will do..

they are warning china and going ahead..

why would you?

“Britain is drawing up plans to send a warship to the South China Sea in a move that is likely to anger the Beijing government and raise tensions at a delicate moment.”


~ by seeker401 on July 31, 2017.

4 Responses to “Britain risks tensions to deploy warships to South China Sea”

  1. meanwhile Trump signs sanction bills for russia… &

  2. Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

  3. is all aobut the new silkrd one belt rd & don’t let theUSA in or is over for THEY-WALLst- BRITISHempires
    we said this bfore THEY-NATO 1 secretary said -NATO was formed to keep
    USA-in Russia-out Germany-down

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