Navy warship to sail through disputed sea

Chinese state media claims UK foray into South China Sea is just 'attention-seeking'

Ties between the Philippines and China have seen a turnaround since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, as he pursued a more diplomatic approach to resolving the sea dispute while engaging the Chinese in closer trade ties.

Over the last several years China has claimed and built up into artificial islands a series of atolls and reefs in disputed parts of the South China Sea, a vital trading lane, and it has installed military hardware there.

The state-run Chinese tabloid Global Times accused United Kingdom of trying to grab attention with its plans to sail through the South China Sea.

Chinese Ambassador to the Philippines Zhao Jianhua (center) and other Chinese foreign ministry officials return to their meeting with their Philippine counterparts on the second Bilateral Consultation Mechanism on South China Sea in Taguig City Tuesday. "By acting tough against China, Britain's Ministry of Defence is trying to validate its existence and grab attention", the paper said.

"Currently the South China Sea is calm and tranquil", he added, in response to a question from The Telegraph on the British plans.

"But ... there's a much higher chance that they prefer to sit out from doing FONOPs and poking China right in the eye", he said. Such cruises, known as freedom of navigation operations, have routinely drawn protests from Beijing.

At the conclusion of his first visit to Australia, Mr Williamson said Britain could learn from this country's experience in handling Beijing's attempts to buy influence and to interfere in the political process.

He said: "I think we've always got to be vigilant to any form of malign intent".

The Philippine president says he has no intention of going to war over territorial feuds but will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from waters in his country's exclusive economic zone. "Britain see China as a country of great opportunities, but we shouldn't be blind to the ambition that China has and we've got to defend our national security interests", Mr Williamson told the ABC.

"The Chinese monitor this important waterway very closely and would have noticed the British frigate sailing through it without having to be told in the media".

"We have the right of freedom of navigation and we will exercise it", Fallon had added. The prime minister, Theresa May, wrapped up a largely successful trip to China earlier this month.

"There are ongoing bilateral talks as far as contentious South China Sea issues are concerned", Roque said.

Am i seriously reading people suggesting that China will sink HMS Sutherland, and moreover that it is what the United Kingdom government wants as a "distraction" from Brexit...? Britain's ambassador to the US, Sir Kim Darroch, said the Government "absolutely shared" the freedom of navigation objectives of the Obama and Trump administrations.

A second bilateral meeting between China and the Philippines on their territorial dispute in the South China Sea appears to have centered on cooperation rather than on competition, according to a joint press statement Tuesday night.



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