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World: China Media Says U.K. Still in 'Colonial Days' as Navy Enters Contested Waters

China coast guard blocks Philippine boats in disputed sea

  China coast guard blocks Philippine boats in disputed sea MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Chinese coast guard ships blocked and used water cannons on two Philippine supply boats heading to a disputed shoal occupied by Filipino marines in the South China Sea, provoking an angry protest to China and a warning from the Philippine government that its vessels are covered under a mutual defense treaty with the United States, Manila’s top diplomat said Thursday. Philippine Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. said no one was hurt in the incident in the disputed waters on Tuesday, but the two supply ships had to abort their mission to provide food supplies to Filipino forces occupying the Second Thomas Shoal, which lies off western Palawa

a large body of water: This image released by the British High Commission in Singapore on July 28, 2021, shows U.K., U.S., Dutch and Singaporean warships taking part in a joint exercise in the South China Sea on July 27, 2021. © British High Commission Singapore This image released by the British High Commission in Singapore on July 28, 2021, shows U.K., U.S., Dutch and Singaporean warships taking part in a joint exercise in the South China Sea on July 27, 2021.

China's hawkish Communist Party tabloid the Global Times has published pre-emptive warnings aimed at the British Royal Navy as its flagship vessel officially entered the South China Sea this week.

In separate op-eds on Sunday and Monday, the newspaper accused Britain of wanting to "revive its past glory" and warned the country against sailing warships into "Chinese territory."

Philippines Warns China of U.S. Defense Treaty After Water Cannon Fired at Filipino Boats

  Philippines Warns China of U.S. Defense Treaty After Water Cannon Fired at Filipino Boats Chinese coast guard water-cannoned Philippine supply ships at the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, prompting Filipino officials to remind them of a U.S. treaty.Second Thomas Shoal, near the Philippine province of Palawan, is a strategic waterway that many countries have tried to claim. The Associated Press reported that China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Taiwan all have overlapping claims.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is on its maiden voyage to the Indo-Pacific while escorted by half a dozen warships and a nuclear submarine. The lengthy deployment is seen as a signal of the United Kingdom's "tilt" and commitment to collective security in the region—part of its "Global Britain" foreign policy shift.

On Monday, the Queen Elizabeth Carrier Strike Group sailed through the Singapore Strait and took part in an eight-ship maritime exercise with the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), according to statements by the British High Commission and Singapore's Defense Ministry.

The Royal Navy flagship was joined by Britain's HMS Kent and RFA Tidespring, as well as USS The Sullivans and HNLMS Evertsen, of the U.S. Navy and Royal Netherlands Navy, respectively.

China Says it Will Not 'Bully The Small' Amid Disputes in South China Sea

  China Says it Will Not 'Bully The Small' Amid Disputes in South China Sea The remarks, delivered at the ASEAN-China special summit, come after an alleged incident involving Philippine cargo ships in the South China Sea.Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a speech at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday. Members of the organization were commemorating the 30th anniversary of China and the group finalizing relations with each other.

Singaporean warships included RSS Intrepid, RSS Unity and RSS Resolution, the bulletins said.

It was the carrier group's first such exercise with the RSN, before the British fleet is expected to sail deeper into the contested South China Sea, with eventual port calls in Japan scheduled for September.

China claims almost all of the energy-rich sea as part of its expansive "nine-dash line," which the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague dismissed in a landmark ruling in 2016 as part of the case Philippines v. China.

China Accused of 'Harassment' in South China Sea After Vowing to Back Down

  China Accused of 'Harassment' in South China Sea After Vowing to Back Down Chinese government vessels continued to follow and photograph Philippine boats resupplying troops on a disputed South China Sea atoll on Tuesday, Manila said.Philippine Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Wednesday that a small contingent of Philippine Marines was successfully resupplied with food and other provisions on November 23.

The U.K., like the U.S., has recently voiced its support for the court's decision taken under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, but China rejected every line of the verdict.

All eyes are on the carrier group in the coming weeks as observers seek to gauge the U.K.'s precise security posture in the region by how far it will go to challenge China's "red lines."

This includes whether any Royal Navy warships directly challenge China's sweeping claims to maritime features in the South China Sea, perhaps in the form of pointed freedom of navigation operations so far only undertaken by the U.S. Navy.

The U.K. "would be prudent not to send warship within 12 miles of Chinese territory," read a headline by the Global Times, referring not to China's coastline but rather waters surrounding the myriad banks and reefs to which it lays claim, such as the Paracel Islands.

"[S]ending a warship within 12 miles of Chinese territory is a direct challenge to China's core interests, which might result in misjudgment," the paper said.

Britain "has always been wily" and "will not easily confront China," the state-owned tabloid quotes Beijing analyst Wang Yiwei as saying. Wang, who is with Renmin University of China, predicts the Royal Navy will carry out symbolic exercises with the U.S. but will not antagonize China.

Philippines rejects China's demand to remove ship from shoal

  Philippines rejects China's demand to remove ship from shoal MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Philippines' defense chief rejected on Thursday China’s renewed demand that it remove its outpost on a disputed South China Sea shoal and said Chinese coast guard ships should leave the area and stop blocking Manila’s supply boats. Philippine forces use a grounded warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, as an outpost on the submerged but strategic shoal that is at the center of an ongoing dispute with China. DefensePhilippine forces use a grounded warship, the BRP Sierra Madre, as an outpost on the submerged but strategic shoal that is at the center of an ongoing dispute with China.

Yet another Global Times op-ed, however, accuses the U.K. of "still living in its colonial days." Britain's intention is to "provoke China, engage in the so-called freedom of navigation like the U.S. does and demonstrate its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region," the author said.

Last Tuesday, U.K. Defense Secretary Ben Wallace said from Tokyo that Britain would be permanently deploying two Royal Navy warships to the Indo-Pacific region to support operations with allies.

The day after, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said China "firmly opposes the practice of flexing muscles at China," which "undermines China's sovereignty and security, and harms regional peace and stability."

This week's Royal Navy exercises in the South China Sea coincide with a three-day visit to Singapore by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, who is the first Biden cabinet official to stop in the city-state.

Austin met Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in separate calls on Tuesday, according to reports.

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Honolulu shut down its largest water source in Oahu due to contamination of Navy well near Pearl Harbor .
Honolulu shut down its largest water source on Oahu Thursday night following reported contamination in the potable water system for Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. © KGMB/KHNL US Navy service members fill potable water for residents at the Navy Exchange Mall. The city's Board of Water Supply (BWS) shut down the Halawa Shaft after the Navy said Thursday it found "a likely source of the contamination," which is believed to be petroleum chemicals initiated from the Red Hill well, the Navy confirmed in a virtual town hall meeting.

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