British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson told reporters in Sydney that the largest warship the country has ever produced, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, will be sent to the South China Sea for its first mission.
The South China Sea has been an ongoing dispute of territorial claims between China and Western nations. The Chinese have placed military bases, against Western wishes, on makeshift islands to solidify their position in the region.
The U.K. will send their warships, “on a freedom-of-navigation operation to this area [South China Sea] to vindicate our belief in the rules-based international system,” said Johnson. The U.K.’s presence in the South China Sea will place further pressure on the Chinese to rid their man-made islands of any military existence.