Beijing protests over London’s plans to send warships to South China Sea

Beijing [China]: Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed protest on Wednesday over plans of the United Kingdom Royal Navy to send warships to the disputable South China Sea and urged the UK to refrain from provocations in the region.

Earlier in the week, Royal Navy’s chief Philip Jones told the Financial Times newspaper that the United Kingdom should “showcase” support for its allies in the Asia Pacific region and send warships to sail through the disputable waters in the South China Sea.

“The Chinese side expresses its utmost concern and strong protest over the statements of the UK side made in this article … We urge the UK side to pay serious attention to the concerns of China and stop such provocative actions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing.

The passage of the UK warship near the disputed Paracel Islands in the South China Sea in September has already damaged the relations between China and the United Kingdom, the spokeswoman noted.

The Asia-Pacific region is the stage for several territorial disputes in South China and East China seas that involve China, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines.