UK To Send F-35s, Aircraft Carrier to South China Sea

Gavin Williamson

Gavin Williamson

"Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost", the Minister said.

The HMS Queen Elizabeth, Britain's largest warship, is slated to head to the Pacific region, U.K. Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson said Monday. Yet, Brexit supporters see it as a chance for Britain to take on a new global role.

He said boundaries between peace and war were becoming "blurred" by the increasing use of technological warfare, subversion and propaganda, and that Britain and its allies had to be ready "to use hard power to support our global interests".

His remarks will come as Beijing remains embroiled in dispute with neighbouring countries and the U.S. over territorial claims in the South China Sea, a strategic and economically crucial waterway, which includes vital sea lanes through which about $3 trillion in global trade passes annually.

Prime Minister Theresa May's "Global Britain" slogan is more than a pithy phrase because the United Kingdom will be ready to flex its military muscles after it leaves the European Union, defense minister Gavin Williamson said yesterday.

"NATO has to develop opportunities to deal with the provocations Russian Federation carries out against us".

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â€To talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger, ” he will say.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Williamson said the U.K. also planned to open bases in Asia and the Caribbean region.

'Against adversaries upping their spending and advancing technology, we have to respond, ' he will say.

Setting out how he plans to spend some of the £1.8 billion extra funding for defence secured past year, Mr Williamson will promise a "very significant additional investment" in cyber capabilities including improving the UK's ability to carry out its own online attacks and protect against hackers. "We should be the nation that people can turn to when the world needs leadership", Williamson said. "This is the moment when we must strengthen our global presence, increase the lethality of our weapons and a specific weight", intends to declare the Minister.

The defence secretary won an extra £1.8bn for defence in the last budget.

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