Manila/Beijing: The UK announced sending an aircraft carrier to the South China Sea, to underline the freedom of freight movement in the marine sector. China infuriated by the announcement criticised the UK. Within just one week of this, the UK conducted war exercise,once again, in the South China Sea along with the United States. The UK and the US seem to have warned China by conducting these exercises in the second successive month.
Meanwhile, a Chinese daily has warned that these military movements of the UK, in the South China Sea are affecting the friendly relations shared by China with the UK.
The USNS Guadalupe and oil tanker from the US Navy and HMS Montrose from the British navy conducted war exercises in the South China Sea a few days ago. Montrose commander Conor O’Neill said that these exercises were essential for the British Navy and its soldiers. The exercises were focused around the attack on an oil tanker, during a war situation and the defence by the assisting destroyer. O’Neill also said that the supplying of oil to the destroyer and the security arrangements at that time, in a war scenario, were also practised. These exercises were conducted under the rules of NATO, the military organisation of the North Atlantic countries. Last month, USS McCampbell of the US Navy and HMS Argyll of the British navy had conducted war exercises, in the same marine region. China had severely criticised these exercises. But ten days ago, British Defence Minister Gavin Williamson announced sending the British aircraft carrier to the South China Sea.
The British Defence Minister had said that this warship was being sent to assist the US warship present in that region, to ensure the freedom of freight movement through the region. Williamson announced that HMS Queen Elizabeth was being sent for this purpose to the South China Sea. This aircraft carrier, equipped with the F-35 super-advanced stealth fighter jets, will reach the South China Sea in the coming month.
Before that, the Chinese media have claimed that the British and US warships have added to the Chinese displeasure, by holding war exercises in the South China Sea. British Finance Minister Phillip Hammond is scheduled to reach China soon. Hammond will be trying to increase the trade between the two countries. The Chinese media have claimed that the United Kingdom has complicated the relations between the two countries with the announcement of sending the aircraft carrier to the South China Sea. The British Defence Minister justified the deployment of the aircraft carrier saying that the South China Sea will be important strategically vital,in the coming times.
Meanwhile, the Indo-Pacific command chief, Admiral Phillip Davidson claimed that China is the biggest long-term threat in the South China Sea and the Indo-Pacific region. Following the UK, even France will be despatching its aircraft carrier for the Indo-Pacific region in the coming month. The French defence ministry announced the aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle would be deployed in the Indo-Pacific Region for nearly five months.