UK aircraft carrier heads for Indo-Pacific with eye on China

·2-min read
HMS Queen Elizabeth (Photo Credit: Reuters)
HMS Queen Elizabeth (Photo Credit: Reuters)

London [UK], May 24 (ANI): The UK's carrier strike group, led by HMS Queen Elizabeth, has left for the Indo-Pacific region on a world tour that will last about seven months, carrying the strength of nine ships, 32 aircraft, and 3,700 personnel.

The dispatch of the ship, on Saturday on its maiden operational deployment, is a representation of the 'Indo-Pacific tilt' in the UK's foreign policy. The carrier group is also believed to boost Britain's involvement in the region and to deter China which is asserting its influence in Indo-Pacific, NHK world reported.

This follows the Boris Johnson government's calls for increased focus on the region in a new policy paper on diplomacy and security for the coming 10 years which was released in March.

The seven-month global deployment will extend through the Mediterranean and the Indian Ocean and on to the Indo-Pacific, interacting with more than one-fifth of the world's nations.

Johnson was also among those to visit HMS Queen Elizabeth on Saturday ahead of her departure, joined on Friday by UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace, First Sea Lord, Admiral Tony Radakin and Chief of the Air Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston on the flight deck.

UK Defence Secretary Ben Wallace had said: The UK's Carrier Strike Group sets sail to write Britain's name in the next chapter of history - a truly global Britain that steps forward to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, working hand-in-hand with our friends to defend our shared values and uphold the rules-based international order."

In a projection of the UK's global reach and influence, the carrier strike group will interact with over 40 nations during its 26,000-nautical-mile global tour, undertaking over 70 engagements, exercises and operations with allies and partners.

In the Indo-Pacific, the carrier strike group will visit India, Japan, South Korea and Singapore to strengthen Britain's security relationships, reinforce political ties and support our UK exports and international trade agenda.

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful surface vessel in the Royal Navy's history. (ANI)

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