South China Sea: Beijing’s biggest threat exposed and closer than President Xi thinks | World

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South China Sea: Beijing’s biggest threat exposed and closer than President Xi thinks | World


China has beefed up its defenses in the South China Sea to ward off any attack on the disputed waters it claims to possess. But Asia-Pacific Program Associate Fellow at Chatham House Bill Hayton said President Xi Jinping faced more domestic problems than attacks in the region. Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Hayton said: “There really is no threat to China in the South China Sea, which is why I find it difficult to understand their actions.

“I think the biggest threats are national to make sure their own people are happy.
“No one wants to invade China. All we see are coastal countries like Vietnam and the Philippines trying to protect their fishing, oil and gas industries and vessels from foreign countries sailing the South China Sea.

“I don’t think there is really a maritime threat to China at the moment.

“It is more China playing this assertive role, perhaps even aggressive towards its neighbors and other countries and this creates a setback. “

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Former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith said he believed he had become the target of a “direct threat” from the Chinese government.
Duncan Smith said his work with the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China made him a target.

Sir Iain told the House of Commons: “I now understand that there is information from the Five Eyes sources that there is now a very active and direct threat from the Chinese government aimed directly at the Co-Chairs of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China.

“Some of these co-chairs, including myself, have now been warned by their intelligence services upon receiving this that they should be very careful and will be supported.

“May I ask (Mr Cleverly) if his government is receiving this same information and, if so, why have they not informed the Co-Chairs and others here in the UK like other allies?” ‘did ? “

Foreign Minister James Cleverly replied: “He will understand that we are not discussing intelligence matters on the ground in the House, but I understand what he is doing to ensure that people who are potentially the target of foreign intelligence actions have the possibility of defending themselves against them.

Regarding the Microsoft Exchange hack, Sir Iain had previously said: “This is the latest form of Chinese attacks, not a one-off attack on the West, which includes espionage, economic sanctions against Australia, wolf warrior diplomacy and naval aggression in the South China Sea, but to name a few.

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

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

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“Following the strike group’s inaugural deployment, the UK will permanently assign two ships to the region from the end of the year,” UK Defense Minister Ben Wallace said in an announcement joint in Tokyo with her Japanese counterpart, Nobuo Kishi.

After arriving in Japan, Kishi said, HMS Queen Elizabeth and her escort ships would separate for separate stops at US and Japanese naval bases along the Japanese archipelago.

In a statement on the deployment, a Pentagon spokesperson praised Britain for its “commitment to an interconnected network of allies and partners, who cooperate and mutually support freedom of navigation and a rules-based order. in the Indo-Pacific region ”.

A close ally of the United States, Japan is home to the largest concentration of American military forces outside of the United States, including ships, planes and thousands of Marines.

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