Singapore: Saying that the militarisation of the South China Sea will not be tolerated, US Secretary of Defence, James Mattis had announced that the patrolling in South China Sea will be intensified. Within 24 hours of this announcement, the United Kingdom and France have despatched their warships to the South China Sea. ‘Countries who don’t abide by the international laws must have received the appropriate message from this action’, said the British Defence Minister, Gavin Williamson.
The US Secretary of State had given a stern warning to China, while speaking at the Shangri La security conference being held in Singapore. China has built artificial islands in the South China Sea region and has deployed sophisticated fighter jets, anti-aircraft guns and missile systems there. While building these artificial islands, China had assured that these Islands will not be militarised. But now, China is trying to strengthen its claim on the South China Sea region with militarisation of these islands. There has been a strong reaction from the United States about this and the US Secretary of State warned that these Chinese activities will not be tolerated, while speaking at the Shangri La security conference.
Saying that the US Navy will increase patrolling in this region, the United States has shown that it attaches little or no importance to the Chinese opposition to its patrolling. Following the warning issued by the US Secretary of State, fleets of French and UK’s warships have reached the concerned region. HMS Sutherland, HMS Argyll and the amphibious warship HMS Albion from the Royal Navy fleet of United Kingdom have been deployed in the South China Sea. This British naval deployment is a stern warning for the countries not abiding by the international laws, said British Defence Minister, Gavin Williamson.
Saying that the importance of abiding by the international laws has increased in view of the possession of weapons of mass destruction by many countries, the British Defence Minister said that the United Kingdom is willing to contribute to this effort. French Defence Minister, Florence Parly clarified that France believes more in finding solutions through negotiations. To ensure freedom of passage of freight traffic, the United Kingdom navy is cooperating with the French Navy in the region, said Parly further.
The United States has disputes with the United Kingdom and France on economic and some other issues. Despite these differences, the British and the French navy coming to help the United States navy, shows that they seem to be agreeing over the issue of aggressive Chinese movements in South China Sea region.