Press Release: September 12, 2019
The UK government is "considering its options" after the Chinese government threatened to use force against British warships if they try to sail though the disputed waters of the South China Sea citing that the proposed upcoming deployment of HMS Queen Elizabeth, the Royal Navy’s latest carrier, to the Asia Pacific region in 2021 as her first operational assignment, saying clearly that this could be interpreted as a “hostile action”.
“If the US and UK join hands in a challenge or violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of China, that would be hostile action.”
The UK Government has said that it is “keen to assert freedom of navigation through international waters” alongside other Western partners. However, in response to the plans, Major General Su Guanghui, China’s defence attaché to the UK, said yesterday that “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 has been accused of colonising the South China Sea to expand its military reach going so far as "manufacturing" artificial atols in direct violation of international law, a move that has prompted both the US and UK to conduct regular "freedom of navigation operations" in the region.
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