The United Kingdom (UK) has recently announced its plan to station two warships constantly from the end of this year and field well-trained “Littoral Response Group” in the Asia-Pacific.
This announcement is prompting high vigilance from the countries in the region, as it came at the time when aircraft carrier “Queen Elizabeth” is scheduled to pass through South China Sea in order to participate in the U.S.-led multinational joint military exercise in coming August.
What cannot be overlooked is that the UK Defense Minister, when making this announcement, groundlessly blamed the DPRK and China for isolating Japan and south Korea, threatening the freedom of navigation in the Indo-Pacific region and so on.
Aggravating situation in the Asia-Pacific region by dragging even warships into this faraway area, the UK is seeking the excuse from our “threats.” Since it is like a guilty party filing the suit first, the UK’s move is no less than a provocation against us.
The UK, now being an outcast as a result of its departure from the European Union, is poking its nose into the Asia-Pacific region, a confrontational ground of the superpowers, and is actively taking part in the U.S.-led joint military exercises and “Freedom of Navigation” Operation.
The international society are unanimously commenting that the move by the UK is an attempt aimed at creating enabling condition and environment for realizing its ambition of building a “global Britain” by currying favor with its senior ally.
Such an attempt by the UK to recover from its ever declining position with the backing of somebody will only invite bitter backlash from the regional countries and worsen the already tense situation of the region.
The time is gone forever when the UK threatened the countries of the world with the “gunboat diplomacy” and colonized them of its own free will.
The UK had better concern itself with the troublesome after-effects of Brexit, rather than groundlessly picking on others in order to grab what it desires for its political purpose.
Choe Hyon Do
Researcher of Korea-Europe Association