The United Kingdom has announced that naval vessels plying the South China Sea will be permanently shipped to Japan.
According to Russia Today, the United Kingdom announced on Tuesday that it would permanently deploy two naval vessels in the waters around Japan this year before the arrival of a plane-carrying strike team led by Queen Elizabeth II in Japan.
“Following the deployment of the initial strike committee, Britain will permanently deploy two ships in the region,” British Defense Secretary Ben Wallace told a joint news conference with his Japanese counterpart Nobuo Kishi in Tokyo.
“We value China, we believe China will respect us. We will travel where international law allows,” he added.
Wallace said British ships would not be anchored specifically in Japanese ports, but would patrol the surrounding waters.
Japan is a strategic partner of the United Kingdom and the United States, participating in joint military exercises and providing the largest concentration of US troops outside its 50 countries.
The Royal Navy’s largest warship, the Queen Elizabeth, is due to arrive in Japan in September to participate in joint exercises with the Defense Forces in Tokyo. The move, launched by Keshi and Wallace on Tuesday, aims to counter China’s regional operations in the region.
Queen Elizabeth II currently carries the Royal Navy’s destroyers, warships and support ships, as well as American and Dutch ships. It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post.
The South China Sea and its adjoining waters have been a source of tension between Beijing and its neighbors and the West.