“The strike group’s journey from Europe to Asia could be seen as a political present. It ought to keep residence to deal with the Russian navy as a substitute,” Zhou stated.
Nevertheless, Macau-based navy observer Antony Wong Dong stated London had used the maiden voyage of its strike group to attempt to rebuild its credibility and spotlight its dedication to becoming a member of France, Germany and the Netherlands in supporting the US’ freedom of navigation efforts and operations within the South China Sea.
The US and China have been at odds within the contested waterway, the place Beijing has territorial disputes with a variety of neighbours, together with Vietnam and the Philippines.
“The high-profile visits and joint naval drills alongside its journey from residence to the contested South China Sea is [a sign of] the Royal Navy’s resurgence after many years of contraction. It’s good coaching for the British navy,” Wong stated.
“The US welcomed Britain’s assist in containment towards China as a result of Washington understands London’s affect within the area on account of its former glory of being the ‘empire on which the solar by no means units’.”
Carrying greater than 30 plane, the strike group launched into its maiden voyage in late Could, collaborating in navy workout routines with French, US, Canadian, Danish, Greek, Israeli and Italian forces as effectively workout routines with South Korea, Japan and Singapore.
Addressing an occasion sponsored by the Worldwide Institute for Strategic Research in Singapore on Tuesday, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stated each Britain and the US have been “world nations with world pursuits”.
“As we glance to steadiness our efforts in varied elements of the world, we aren’t solely trying to assist one another within the Indo-Pacific however we wish to be sure that we assist one another in different elements of the world as effectively,” Austin stated.
“Assets are scarce, irrespective of which nation you’re speaking about. However once more we’ve a worldwide perspective and there are a variety of locations we’ve helped one another as we shift our stance.”
The South China Sea dispute defined
Collin Koh, a analysis fellow with the S. Rajaratnam Faculty of Worldwide Research at Nanyang Technological College in Singapore, stated the continuing deployment of the strike group to Asia had highlighted London’s new “World Britain” method within the post-Brexit period.
“[The deployment] positively showcases that [Britain] continues to be one of many world’s main navy powers,” he stated. “It positively serves as a reminder that London has long-standing pursuits spanning centuries on this a part of the world.”
However the two warships to completely assist US freedom of navigation operations within the Asia-Pacific wouldn’t be thought of “high-end platforms”, Koh stated.
“They’re truly offshore patrol vessels which might be optimised extra for lower-intensity operations that may be tailor-made extra for this area,” he stated.
“[Britain] continues to commit extra consideration to its neighbourhood in Europe. Whereas it has exited the EU, London remains to be a serious Nato energy.”
Lu Li-Shih, a former teacher at Taiwan’s Naval Academy in Kaohsiung, famous that the British provider strike group didn’t provoke Beijing on its maiden voyage by getting into the Taiwan Strait.
“The strike group’s journey to Asia is a political gesture to point London’s response to the US’ China containment technique, however the British navy is cautious to not provoke Beijing,” Lu stated.
“The strike group’s joint workout routines with so many international locations from the Commonwealth nations alongside its lengthy maiden would assist London to rebuild its navy provide and logistic coordination system with Nato and different allies.”