A British naval presence in the South China Sea strengthens global security and Britain’s global role. But it must be matched with a more systematic approach to the region, and to China’s defiance of legal norms.
A clear differentiation is required between trade and technology wars, Huawei and politicised arrests of foreign nationals. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is deliberately confusing them, and President Trump is not helping.
China’s seizure last week of a US naval drone in international waters has drawn attention to China's assertive approach throughout South East Asia. And that affects both big countries and small countries, such as Singapore.
US President-elect Donald Trump broke with decades of American policy when he spoke on the phone with Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. The move sheds light on the broader speculation surrounding Trump’s intended policy towards Taiwan and China.
Amid worrying remarks from President-elect Donald Trump and North Korean provocations, there are growing fears that Japan and South Korea might seek to acquire a nuclear capability. However, this anxiety is misplaced, for it does not take into account the political and technical options available to Tokyo and Seoul.
As the US appears set to limit its global involvement under President-elect Donald Trump and China intensifies its engagements across the world, an opportunity has arisen for Britain. It is one the UK government should seize.