Major state-run newspaper of China, the China Daily, has stated that the sailing of British warship close to the islands claimed by China in South China Sea, has jeopardised the chances of China entering into a post-Brexit trade deal with Britain. The two nations had agreed in August to work on the possibilities of reaching a high-level trade deal. Latter would be a huge win for the Conservative Government.
Britain has been keen on a post-Brexit trade deal with China and has often mentioned a ‘golden-era’ in the relations between two nations. The two, however, cannot begin any talks formally till the Brexit materialises next year and Britain officially leaves the European Union.
The latter has all come to an abrupt stop as HMS Albion, the Royal Navy warship sailed past the Paracel Islands, claimed by China. China has termed the act as a clear case of provocation. Vietnam and Taiwan also put claims on the islands.
The South China Sea which oversees $3 trillion trade every year, is claimed by China-which is contested by other countries of the region like Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Taiwan. The newspaper stated that Britain is trying to win favour from US and is trying to enter into its good books. The act shows it is trying to win US favour as the latter has always stood for freedom of navigation through the strategic and vital waterway. China has always denounced any interference from nations outside the region as threat to regional stability and has frequently asked them to stay away.
China’s administration has also objected to British concerns about Hong Kong, which was a former British colony. In Britain’s latest bi-annual report on the city, Jeremy Hunt, the Foreign Secretary of Britain has raised concerns about the freedom of speech in the country in particular to the context of independence. In a reaction to the report, China has stated that issue of Freedom of speech is completely different from the Rhetoric of Independence and latter is a serious violation of China’s Constitution.