Tensions in Asia heightens: US sends bombers while Britain threatens to send warships in disputed islands claimed by China

Tensions in the Korean peninsula grew as the United States sent its two B1B bombers over the skies of South Korea near the border close to its neighbor, North Korea. Japanese and South Korean fighter jets accompanied the bombers while they flew by. The fly by was a direct response to the second test firing of an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) which, North Korea claims, has successfully given them the power to strike any city within the US mainland.

Asian countries led by Australia lambasted North Korea for its provocative act. China, meanwhile, also condemned the test firing, but fell short in proposing punitive actions against the North Koreans. China and Russia are perceived to be supportive or influential in North Korea. That explains why US President Donald Trump condemned China for not helping in efforts at restraining North Korea  its dangerous nuclear development program. Japan and South Korea have already expressed alarm over the North Korean actions.

While the US bombers flew over the skies of Korea, China’s People’s Liberation Army took to the parade grounds to show the Chinese people and the world how modernized the PLA has become ninety years after its birth. And for the first time in years, Chinese president Xi Jinping appeared before thousands of troops wearing a military cap and camouflage uniform.

Xi lauded his troops and urged them to transform into a global elite force to preserve “peace in the world.”

While Xi reviews the troops, its former colonial master, Great Britain is threatening to send two of its colossal warships in the dispute islands at the South China sea. Britain’s Defense Minister Sir Michael Fallon had consultations with his Australian counterparts. Fallon says Great Britain wants to exercise its freedom from navigation which could “vindicate our (Great Britain’s) belief in the rules-based international system and in the freedom of navigation through those waterways which are absolutely vital for world trade.”

Two of Britain’s newest aircraft carriers, the HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales are two of the biggest warships ever constructed and commissioned by the Royal British Navy. At 280 meters and weighing 65,000, the HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest ship ever built and which could carry more than 40 fighter aircrafts. HMS Prince of Wales meanwhile is rumored to be as big as the Elizabeth’s

If ever Britain moves against China, this will not be the first. In the 19th century, Britain and China went to war when the Chinese government tried to prevent the European power from unloading its opium cargoes. China lost in that war dubbed the “Opium Wars”, and suffered dearly for it by losing several territories to Britain.

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