Democracy The UK plans to open a new military base in Southeast Asia is expected to broadcast hard signals to China and could put a strain on the cool-cold relationship between London and Beijing.
The plan to build a new military base in Southeast Asia was revealed by Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph last week. Two locations that could be chosen by the UK to locate military bases are Singapore and Brunei.
Secretary Williamson said Britain will open two new military bases in the next few years, including a base in the Caribbean. The head of the British Ministry of Defense said the plan would help Britain regain the status of a true global factor after Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU).
“This is our most important moment as a nation since the end of the Second World War. This is the time when we can reshape ourselves in a completely different way. We can really play a role in the international arena as the world still expects us”, Williamson stressed.
The opening of the new military base also marked a shift in British policy since it withdrew its military bases in Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf in the 1960s.
Ni Lexiong, a naval expert at Shanghai University of Political Science and Law, said that the plan to open a military base continues to be further evidence that Britain and its key US allies are increasingly attached. more closely with President Donald Trump’s tough approach to China.
“This is a complementary step to the US-Pacific strategy of the US and Washington will be satisfied with this,” Ni said, referring to President Trump’s strategy to promote security commitments security and the US economy with the region.
China has long viewed American increasing military moves in the South China Sea as a threat to regional stability and expressed concern over the India-Pacific strategy. Beijing sees it as part of Washington’s wider effort to curb China’s ambition to become a global superpower.
Xu Liping, a professor at the Institute of Asian and Pacific Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, believes the United States is behind a plan to open a British military base in Southeast Asia in the context of growing Washington mind to maintain global leadership due to President Trump’s policy America is first.
“You especially increase your activity in the South China Sea at the time when the United States is concerned about direct confrontation with China in the region. This is clearly a move to show power to China and to show the increasingly stricter involvement of outside powers in the South China Sea dispute”, Xu said.