UK in South China Sea
UK and US are trying hard to enhance their global stature in an unfair way giving rise to global tension, particularly in the South China Sea.
The political and military clout of the two superpowers has been diminishing gradually throughout the globe particularly in Asia and the Middle East. Britain will not have the same soft power clout that it enjoyed as a member of the EU. To counter the rising power of China both countries are sending their naval ships to the South China Sea which happens to be Chinese territory.
British and American officials claim that they will be sailing in the region to establish their right to navigation in international waters. Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to the energy-rich sea that carries billions of dollars in trade.
The British Navy frigate HMS Sutherland will sail through the region after a visit to Australia.
“She’ll be sailing through the South China Sea and making it clear our navy has a right to do that,” claimed the UK Defense Secretary. The Chinese have always disliked ships sailing near their naval base in the South China Sea.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang while responding to the UK’s intentions of pushing their ships via the South China Sea commented that “All countries in accordance with international law enjoy the freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. There is no disagreement on this”.
But China made it clear that the tension due to claims on the South China Sea by regional states was abating and no country should vitiate the clam in the region. “The situation on the South China Sea is also improving with each day. We hope all relevant sides especially those outside the region can respect the efforts made by regional countries,” commented the Chinese spokesperson.
China clearly sees the US and UK naval presence in the region as an attempt to challenge its peace initiative in the region. The Association of South East Asian Nations is hoping to expedite negotiations with China on a code of conduct for the South China Sea.