Published: Thu, February 15, 2018

Britain sends warship to challenge Beijing's South China Sea claims

Britain sends warship to challenge Beijing's South China Sea claims

Apart from China, Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam also have claims to the energy-rich sea.

Mr Williamson said HMS Sutherland, a Type-23 frigate, will sail through the waters, much of which China claims as its own, after a visit to Australia.

The president followed up with a warning that he will order the navy to fire if other countries extract resources from within his country's exclusive economic zone, a 200-nautical mile stretch of sea where a coastal state has internationally recognized exclusive rights to exploit resources under a 1982 United Nations treaty.

He said: "I think we've always got to be vigilant to any form of malign intent. Australia (and) 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", he told the ABC.

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. In July 2016, the Philippines won an arbitration case at a court in The Hague that voided China's claim, but Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's two-week old administration at that time departed from his predecessor's foreign policy and set aside the legal victory in order to fix diplomatic and economic ties with China.

"The more powerful China gets, the more challenging it is for us".

To date, Roque said that the current foreign policy of the Philippines with China is for issues that are non-contentious such as investments and trade to "proceed as soon as possible" and for contentious issues such as the South China to "proceed on the basis of bilateral negotiations".

A few months ago, Beijing criticised the Turnbull government for raising concerns about the "pace and scale" of China's developments in the region.

In Beijing, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said Wednesday that China has been participating in activities related to proposing names for undersea features "in accordance with global practice " and the rules of the worldwide hydrographic body.

Beijing has warned against "stirring up trouble" in the South China Sea after Britain vowed to send a warship through the heart of disputed waters next month. But given the history of bilateral ties, the limits of advances made so far, and the difficulties that lie ahead, we should be cautious about buying into the hype of Sino-Philippine breakthroughs in the South China Sea.

The media outlet said "China must take revenge and let it (Australia) know it's wrong".

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