China has strongly warned the UK of the possibility of a European country bringing the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea.
According to the Telegraph, the Chinese warning appears in the context of the British Ministry of Defense reaffirming its stance that it will bring the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to the South China Sea by 2021. This will be the first time the British aircraft carrier operates. in the Asia-Pacific region.
The British Government is committed to strengthening freedom of navigation through international waters in the South China Sea, alongside US and Australian allies. The United States has repeatedly sent warships through the South China Sea despite Chinese warnings.
Under the plan, the 65,000-ton British aircraft carrier will be in the South China Sea with the most advanced F-35 stealth fighter, part of the US Marine unit.
Speaking in London, Major General Su Guanghui, a Chinese military attaché in the UK, said that if the US and the UK “cooperated to challenge” or violated China’s so-called “sovereignty and territorial integrity” , that would be considered a ‘hostile act’.
China was furious when Britain sent HMS Albion amphibious assault ship through the South China Sea last year. At that time, China accused the British government of escalating tensions. The British side always asserted that the HMS Albion was moving in international waters.
Meanwhile, a British government spokesman emphasized that the presence of international navies in the South China Sea is normal and that the UK is no exception. The UK has a lasting interest in the region and is committed to maintaining regional security.
“We are always committed to ensuring the freedom of navigation at sea and in the sky in accordance with international law,” a British government spokesman said.
China claims a large area of the South China Sea with the “nine-dash line” drawn by the country on its own map. Countries in the region and many countries around the world oppose this absurd sovereignty claim and the International Permanent Court of Arbitration also rejected it in the 2016 ruling.