There has been reports that a British Navy warship has ‘clashed’ with the Chinese Navy in the South China Sea. It is a highly volatile area, in which China claims many of the area to be theirs, though the international community regard it as “international waters”.
The British warship was on patrol within the area when the Chinese launched helicopters and a warship out to the British Vessel, it was then warned to back off. The Royal Navy reminded the Chinese it was sailing in international waters and that it would continue course.
This is not the first clash the Chinese Navy has had in the South China Sea. The Chinese Navy has clashed with US and Japanese vessels in the same area as China aggressively claims land and area in and around the South China sea.
In a statement, a Royal Navy spokesperson said: “HMS Albion exercised her rights of freedom of navigation in full compliance with international law and norms.”. This statement confirms that the UK has every right to sail within the disputed area, as it is within international realms.
It is not clear yet what will happen in the area. Though the Chinese have acted in a provocative manner, say many. The Chinese have been building up their Naval power for the last ten years, notably to defend and claim areas in the South China Sea.
Tensions in the area are set to rise considerably as many have accused the international community of ‘turning a blind eye’ to China’s great expansion of its military in the last decade. Mr Trump has warned China in the past that he won’t tolerate their actions.