WAR-TIME: Why UK aircraft carrier is heading to China

England: In sending Britain’s flagship aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, to Asia, the British government seeks to show the region’s countries, including China, that Britain will enforce the international law of the sea, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said late last week.

UK aircraft carrier

“One of the things we’ll be doing clearly is showing to our friends in China that we believe in the international law of the sea, and in a confident but not a confrontational way, we will be vindicating that point,” he told reporters on board the carrier in Portsmouth Naval Base, south England.

Johnson said the Carrier Strike Group, which will contact more than 40 nations during its deployment through the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and South China Sea to Japan, will project Britain’s values, as well as its military capabilities.

“We don’t want to antagonize anybody, but we do think that the United Kingdom plays a very important role, with friends and partners, the Americans, the Dutch, the Australians, the Indians, and many, many others, in upholding the rule of law, the international rules-based system on which we all depend.”