New British aircraft carriers unwelcome in South China Sea

Royal Navy photo of aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth at sea trials

Responding to the possibility of new UK aircraft carriers operating in the South China Sea, China’s foreign ministry said the deployment would only “stir up trouble”.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang made these remarks after UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson hinted at the possibility of the Royal Navy’s new Queen Elizabeth carriers being sent to the waters of the South China Sea.

“At present, countries in the region are working together to safeguard and promote regional peace, stability and prosperity, yet we see some countries outside the region who insist on stirring up trouble while the situation is trending towards calm in the South China Sea,” Kang said.

“Whoever they are, under whatever pretexts and whatever they say, their precedents of interfering in other regions on high-sounding reasons but only leaving behind chaos and humanitarian disaster warrant sharp alert of regional countries and people.”

During his visit to Australia on Thursday, Boris Johnson said the UK would not be prevented from sending its two aircraft carriers to the South China Sea where Beijing is in dispute with its neighbor countries over who has control over the strategically important waterway.

“One of the first things we will do with the two new colossal aircraft carriers that we have just built is send them on a freedom of navigation operation to this area,” Johnson said.

In addition to the foreign secretary’s announcement, UK defense minister Michael Fallon told Reuters he hopes the UK would be able to send a warship to the region next year adding that the country would not allow China to constrain its movement in the South China Sea.

 

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