Britain trying to headline grab in South China Sea, says state media

Britain trying to headline grab in South China Sea, says state media

Britain's Defence Ministry is trying to justify its existence and grab attention with a planned mission by a British warship to the disputed South China Sea next month, a Chinese newspaper said on Wednesday.

"She'll be sailing through the South China Sea (on the way home) and making it clear our navy has a right to do that", Williamson was quoted as telling the paper in an interview.

He didn't specify whether the voyage would come within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese artificial island, but he did commend the United States, which has done so.

"The addition of Su-35 fighter jets will enable the Chinese military to handle the complicated air and maritime situations of the South China Sea", Wang was quoted as saying in an article posted on the air force's official Weibo account on Monday.

Williamson added that Australia needs to step up its game in the region.

'World dynamics are shifting so greatly.

"China is playing it right at this time", Duterte said, adding that China's actions are influenced by its rivalry with the US for superpower status and that the Philippines "will not get involved in that".

Williamson has also warned that Australia needs to remain vigilant over China's rise. "We've got to have a mature approach to that relationship".


Britain, which will be leaving the European Union next year, has looked to China as one of the countries it wants to sign a free trade deal with once it leaves the bloc.

"We've got to ensure that any form of malign intent is countered and we see increasing challenges - it's not just from China, it's from Russian Federation, it's from Iran - and we've got to be constantly making sure that our security measures, our critical national infrastructure is protected".

Mr Sta Romana also said the Philippines was "compartmentalising" its relations with China. China offers great opportunities but it provides great challenges as well.

It's yet to be seen whether the HMS Sutherland will provoke a response from China, but recent history suggests it's likely.

President Rodrigo Duterte told a news conference late Friday that the Philippines will continue talks with China over disputed South China Sea territories.

Maintaining the spirit of their first consultation in Guiyang, China in May 2017, representatives of China and the Philippines on Tuesday agreed to promote peace and stability in the region, and reaffirmed the importance of keeping the policy of freedom of navigation in and overflight above the South China Sea.

The two sides pursued regular consultations even as Beijing continued to ignore an global tribunal's July 2016 ruling that invalidated its claim over almost all of South China Sea, acting on a Philippine case initiated under the Aquino administration.

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