The Pacific Ocean does not exactly bubble with happy memories for Britain, France or the Netherlands. During WW II, Japanese torpedo bombers sank many Western warships, including the British battleship “Prince of Wales”.
In early 1942, the Japanese forces captured 80.000 British soldiers @ Singapore. Already overstretched fighting the Nazi’s in Europe, the UK couldn’t do much in the Far East during WW II, and since then, for almost a century, the American navy has been operating and controlling the region’s shipping lanes for the Western capitalists.
The so-called freedom of navigation (lawfully) only applies to support imperialist interests in the Pacific. So, now we understand why Britain is vowing to send its military muscle to the Pacific region. Naturally, Beijing warned that these moves could threaten relations between China and Britain.
The British ambassador the U.S. recently told a Washington think tank, that the UK will send aircraft carriers, including the HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Pacific once they become operational in the 2020’s. Already Royal Air Force (RAF) Typhoon fighter jets have been deployed to Japan, in order to fly missions over the South China Sea.
What exactly the British military is thinking it can accomplish against China is not clear. The Royal Navy is now down to just 19 destroyers and frigates, while the Chinese have different fleets operational this size?
If the Americans, with their bigger carriers and sophisticated Aegis-equipped warship escorts, are worried about Chinese submarines, hypersonic weapons and carier-killer ballistic missiles, how would a British carrier task force fare? In 1982 the British Navy battle group could possibly take on the entire Argentine air force and navy at the time, but China in 2020, not very likely!
In the high-tech arms race between America and China, the UK simply does not have the resources to compete. However regardless of what China does, there is still the emerging NATO Russian counter threat in Europe.
National Interest / AA Magnum News 2017.