Queen Elizabeth on deck in the course of her check out to HMS Sutherland. The frigate is owing to sail by way of the South China Sea.
Photograph: Arthur Edwards/AP
Britain’s defence ministry is attempting to justify its existence and grab attention with a planned warship mission by means of the disputed South China Sea, a Chinese newspaper has said.
The HMS Sutherland will sail through the South China Sea to assert liberty-of-navigation rights, according to remarks manufactured by the British defence secretary, Gavin Williamson, even though visiting Australia.
British officials initial flagged the voyage 6 months back and the journey is likely to stoke tensions with China, which declare manage of most of the location and has built armed forces services on land characteristics in the sea.
Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have promises to the vitality-prosperous sea by means of which billions of dollars in trade move each calendar year.
Commonly read point out-operate tabloid the Worldwide Moments explained Williamson essential to point out evidently the function of the mission.
“If not provocation, the Royal Navy ought to behave modestly when passing by means of the South China Sea,” it stated in editorials released in its English and Chinese-language editions.
“By acting hard against China, Britain’s Ministry of Defence is striving to validate its existence and seize consideration.”
China has repeatedly accused international locations outside the house the location – generally a reference to the United States and Japan – of striving to provoke difficulty in the South China Sea at a time when China and its neighbours are attempting to resolve the subject by means of diplomacy.
Speaking of Britain’s strategy, China’s foreign ministry said it hoped “relevant sides really do not try to generate problems out of nothing“.
Britain will be leaving the European Union up coming year and has looked to China as one of the international locations where it wants to indicator a free trade deal. The primary minister, Theresa Could, wrapped up a mostly successful excursion to China before this month.