China is extremely perturbed about British warships entering the disputed South China Sea. China said that it would take necessary measures to safeguard its sovereignty, security and development interest, as well as peace and stability in the South China Sea.

This discomfort became apparent when it was announced in February 2019 that HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain’s newest aircraft carrier’s first operational mission would include the South China Sea, “making a global Great Britain a reality”.

Defence ministry spokesman, Tan Kefei said, “The Chinese side believes that the South China Sea should not become a sea of great power rivalry dominated by weapons and warships”, when asked about Britain’s plans. “The real source of militarisation in the South China Sea comes from countries outside this region sending their warships thousands of kilometres from home to flex muscles,” Tan said.

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A recent Nato report that called for the transatlantic security alliance’s 30 member countries to focus more on “security challenges” posed by China. The report, on the future of the alliance, said, “The scale of Chinese power and global reach poses acute challenges to open and democratic societies, particularly because of that country’s trajectory to greater authoritarianism and an expansion of its territorial ambitions.”

China openly criticized the report and said that it “opposes the baseless speculation and false accusation” in the report and its defence policy remains defensive in nature. Tan Kefei said, “China’s defence build-up and development has always been an addition to the global force for peace. We hope various parties can correct their prejudice and have a rational view of China and its military development”.

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