Britain to permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters

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Britain said on Tuesday it would permanently deploy two warships in Asian waters after its Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier and escort ships sail to Japan in September through seas where China is vying for influence with the United States and Japan.

Plans for the high-profile visit by the carrier strike group come as London deepens security ties with Tokyo, which has expressed growing alarm in recent months over China’s territorial ambitions in the region, including Taiwan.

“Following on from the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the United Kingdom will permanently assign two ships in the region from later this year,” Britain’s Defence Minister Ben Wallace said in a joint announcement in Tokyo with his Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi.

The British embassy in Tokyo did not immediately respond when asked which ports in the region the Royal Navy ships would operate from.

After their arrival in Japan, Kishi said, the Queen Elizabeth and its escort ships would split up for separate port calls to U.S. and Japanese naval bases along the Japanese archipelago.

A close U.S. ally, Japan hosts the biggest concentration of U.S. military forces outside the United States, including ships, aircraft and thousands of marines.

via Reuters