The Royal Navy sailed the British supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth as Beijing barked warnings to enter the South China Sea. The Royal Navy is exercising freedom of navigation on international waters, which the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claims to be their territory. Also, it is part of a pushback against its military occupation.
People's Liberation Army (PLA) claims it will punish the Royal Navy's flagship for intruding into its domain. The voyage is freedom of navigation operation (FONOPs) for the carrier strike group, a multinational force.
Once the carrier reaches the South China Sea, it will join the wargames, with three ships from Singapore added to the eight-ship strike group.
China protests the presence of UK supercarrier on their territory
So far, China declared that the almost 1.3 million square miles of the contested waters are all theirs, but other nations do not support this claim.
Objecting to it, the US and its allies and the UK deploy vessels into the contested seas to execute freedom of navigation operations, which anger China extensively, reported the Sun UK.
Usually, when a foreign ship travels through their claimed territory, the PLA operator would declare an immediate warning to stay away from their territory. Even if they just let it sail by intact, vessels sailed by the US are the heavily armed Arleigh-Burke class.
China has already protested to the move, including one military commentator from the state-run Global Times warning Downing Street.
Song Zhongping said If the United Kingdom wants to threaten China's People's Liberation Army in the South China Sea, Beijing will retaliate with strong consequences. The supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth's presence in the South China Sea poses an extreme challenge, while the US carriers are not present.
He added, there's an old saying that if you'd like to teach someone a lesson, you must consider trying to save face for his big brother.
He further added that the UK is like the American's lackey doing the provoking themselves. Many think that the US is doing Washington's bidding is against London's interests.
Another spokesman Tan Kefei commented that nations sent warships to contest China in the South China Sea. This is a twisting of the actual circumstances of Beijing's unlawful takeover of the major shipping lanes, noted ORF 0nline.
China remains on watch
One source said that the military would undertake all appropriate measures in the SCS to safeguard its sovereignty, security, economic concerns, and peace and stability.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin criticized Xi Jinping's mandate in the disputed areas. He called all the claims of Beijing false and against international law.
Added that Beijing has done is to violate the rights of the real owners of disputed areas who remain calm and do not resort to anything drastically. The US supports the states whose territories have been stolen by China and are upheld by international law.
Passing through the Singapore Strait last Monday, the HMS Queen Elizabeth will be under the range of PLA hypersonic missiles that can target it.
On its initial deployment as a member of the Carrier Strike Group, the carrier is visiting 40 countries for 28 weeks. The next part of the voyage will be multinational drills in the Philippines Sea, then return to Singapore later this year.
One last ship to visit since the supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is the HMS Albion in 2018. It was accosted by a Chinese frigate and two helicopters in the South China Sea.