London/Beijing – The British aircraft carrier ‘HMS Queen Elizabeth’ arrived in the South China Sea with its ‘Carrier Strike Group’, defying repeated warnings from China. The British naval mission has invited strong reactions from the Chinese media and analysts. The Global Times ridiculed that the United Kingdom is a pet dog of the United States. At the same time, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has launched two simultaneous exercises to threaten Britain in the South China Sea.
In the wake of China’s increasingly hegemonic actions in the South China Sea, the United Kingdom has indicated a greater focus on the Indo-Pacific region over the past few years. As part of this, the United Kingdom announced the deployment of its new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, in the South China Sea. China reacted sharply to the United Kingdom’s announcement. China had warned that the action by the United Kingdom could hurt relations between the two countries. In the past few months, China has repeatedly tried to pressurise the United Kingdom over the issue.
But on Tuesday, aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth of the British navy arrived in the South China Sea with her Carrier Strike Group, defying Chinese pressure and warnings. The strike group includes six destroyers, two auxiliary ships and a submarine. HMS Queen Elizabeth has eight F-35B fighter jets, four Wildcat Maritime Attack Helicopters, seven Merlin MK2 Anti-Submarine and Airborne Early Warning Helicopters and three Merlin MK4 Commando Helicopters.
According to the United Kingdom, the British Navy’s Career Strike Group’s operation in the South China Sea is part of Operation Freedom of Navigation. The British Defence Department also said that the British navy had conducted war exercises with the Indian and Singaporean navies before entering the South China Sea. A few days ago, the British defence minister had said that a British aircraft carrier and a strike group would visit Japan from the South China Sea.
The British naval operation has sent shockwaves through China, with Chinese media and analysts launching a crackdown on the United Kingdom. The Global Times, the mouthpiece of the Chinese communist regime, has ridiculed that Britain is a pet dog of the United States. At the same time, the mouthpiece criticised the United Kingdom’s campaign, showing the country’s colonial mindset. At the same time, the Chinese navy said it would keep a close eye on the British navy’s ‘Career Strike Group’.