Published: Wed, February 13, 2019
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

UK PM May Distances Herself From MoD's Anti-China Rhetoric

UK PM May Distances Herself From MoD's Anti-China Rhetoric

Mr Williamson said Britain and its allies had to be ready "to use hard power to support our interests".

There was an extra £1.8bn for defence in the last budget and Mr Williamson said Brexit had brought the United Kingdom its "greatest opportunity" to strengthen its global presence. "A moment when we must strengthen our global presence, enhance our lethality, and increase our mass", he said.

Mr Williamson said Britain must be prepared "to use hard power" against worldwide adversaries in a major escalation of the government's interventionist foreign policy.

In his speech in London, Williamson did not announce any new funding beyond what was allocated at a 2018 budget. Opponents describe it as a blow both to Britain's influence and to the West as a whole.

10 Downing Street has distanced itself from UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson's remarks that the Royal Navy's new aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be deployed to disputed waters in the Pacific where China is embroiled in an ongoing dispute over navigation rights.

"We will build new alliances, rekindle old ones and most importantly make it clear that we are the country that will act when required".

In August, the Royal Navy's HMS Albion, an amphibious assault ship, passed through Chinese-claimed areas in the South China Sea en route to Ho Chi Minh City in southern Vietnam, prompting a furious response from Beijing.

Gavin Williamson will warn in a speech that Britain must stand up to those who "flout worldwide law".

Williamson added that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries should step up and pay their 2 percent share of spending, while European countries must "not be distracted by the notion of an EU army".

The carrier, Britain's largest and most powerful warship, will carry its contingent of state-of-the-art F-35 stealth fighter jets as well as US Marine Corps F-35s as it ventures into a region where "China is developing its modern military capability and its commercial power", Williamson added. It was Washington's main battlefield ally in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with more than 600 troops killed.

The UK needs to strengthen its "lethality" and must be ready to "use hard power" to uphold it interests against nations like Russian Federation and China, Secretary of State for Defense Gavin Williamson said on Monday.

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