'Permanent Military Presence' in Indo-Pacific an Exaggerated Illusion for London

By Ai Jun

Sep 07, 2021 08:10 PM

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

The UK may wish to prove it is charging on the path to redeem its old imperial glory through the "magnificent" HMS Queen Elizabeth's tour in Indo-Pacific region. But it has not yet made any big waves so far. On Monday, when the UK "showed off" the aircraft carrier to Japan's defense chief at a naval base near Tokyo, Reuters hyped it up, saying it marks "the start of a permanent military presence in a region." 

Reuters did not specify what "permanent military presence" means. The article only slightly touched upon that "after the Queen Elizabeth carrier strike group returns, two warships will continue the British presence in the region." It refers to two patrol vessels, which kick started their sail on Tuesday and are scheduled to spend the next five years or more in the Indo-Pacific. 

When HMS Queen Elizabeth departed the UK in May, the country made quite a splash, hoping to display that UK's Royal Navy is revitalized. Now, it seems eager to further prove it by announcing a permanent military presence in Indo-Pacific. But when UK's slogans are carried out, they are often greatly shrunk and diluted. 

"Permanent military presence" is purely an exaggeration. "Take the two patrol vessels, whose combat capabilities are low. They don't even have missiles," Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Global Times. Taking either military budget or technological support into consideration, London is not capable to permanently deploying any of its two aircraft carriers overseas. It won't find a long-term foothold either, Wei said. The most the UK can do is participating in joint military drills or trainings in the region or sending lower level warships there. 

The post-Brexit UK has a "Global Britain" dream and has been trying hard to deliver its ambitions. It views the Indo-Pacific as an economic center and the center of major power game. This is why London is determined to validate its existence and role there, Cui Hongjian, director of the Department of European Studies at the China Institute of International Studies, told the Global Times. 

But how to support such moves halfway around the world away from its own soil? London has been pooling more money away from other sectors to military spending, sacrificing social and economic development. 

In November 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson agreed to a £16.5 billion ( $22 billion) surge in defense budget in the next four year. This is the largest rise since the end of the Cold War. The announcement was made at a time when COVID-19 epidemic wreaked havoc on the country's public finances. "It comes weeks after ministers resisted spending extra money to fund free school meals in the holidays," The Guardian reported. 

The UK believes that only by boosting armed forces can it better safeguard its national interests. "This is a gamble, as the judgment is taking a backward step from the reality," Cui said. 

London is trapped in its nostalgia, leading the country's back to the era of gunboat diplomacy. But those days are gone. The UK no longer has the strength to pursue such policies. Will its economy recover from the epidemic? Will Britain improve its economic model after Brexit? The questions are left unanswered. To flex its military muscle, it is robbing Peter to pay Paul. It will learn a bitter lesson sooner or later on how risky such a tactic is. 

London should also sober up to the overrated US leadership. The primary reason of Washington's call for more NATO members' deployment in Asia is that the US strength is declining. It is placing hope on allies to safeguard US military hegemony in the region as Washington cannot do it alone. No strong NATO power, apart from the UK, is enthusiastic to respond to Washington. Those who might want to come have no strength at all. This is the awkwardness faced by Washington's Indo-Pacific Strategy, according to Cui. 

China is not what it was 100 years ago when its doors could be forced open by British gunboats. If the UK dares to make any provocative moves in the South China Sea today, China's countermeasures will make it learn the consequences of acting rashly. It is high time for the UK to wake up from colonial days and be cautious on China's doorsteps. 

No comments

Thank you for reaching out to us. We are happy to receive your opinion and request. If you need advert or sponsored post, We’re excited you’re considering advertising or sponsoring a post on our blog. Your support is what keeps us going. With the current trend, it’s very obvious content marketing is the way to go. Banner advertising and trying to get customers through Google Adwords may get you customers but it has been proven beyond doubt that Content Marketing has more lasting benefits.
We offer majorly two types of advertising:
1. Sponsored Posts: If you are really interested in publishing a sponsored post or a press release, video content, advertorial or any other kind of sponsored post, then you are at the right place.
Generally, a sponsored post can be any of the following:
Press release
Video content
This kind of post is usually written to promote you or your business. However, we do prefer posts that naturally flow with the site’s general content. This means we can also promote artists, songs, cosmetic products and things that you love of all products or services.
Every sponsored article will remain live on the site as long as this website exists. The duration is indefinite! Again, we will share your post on our social media channels and our email subscribers too will get to read your article. You’re exposing your article to our: Twitter followers, Facebook fans and other social networks.

We will also try as much as possible to optimize your post for search engines as well.

Submission of Materials : Sponsored post should be well written in English language and all materials must be delivered via electronic medium. All sponsored posts must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail on Microsoft Word unless otherwise noted.
The price largely depends on if you’re writing the content or we’re to do that. But if your are writing the content, it is $60 per article.

2. Banner Advertising: We also offer banner advertising in various sizes and of course, our prices are flexible. you may choose to for the weekly rate or simply buy your desired number of impressions.

Technical Details And Pricing
Banner Size 300 X 250 pixels : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Banner Size 728 X 90 pixels: Appears on the top right Corner of the homepage and all pages on the site.
Large rectangle Banner Size (336x280) : Appears on the home page and below all pages on the site.
Small square (200x200) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Half page (300x600) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Portrait (300x1050) : Appears on the right side of the home page and all pages on the site.
Billboard (970x250) : Appears on the home page.

Submission of Materials : Banner ads can be in jpeg, jpg and gif format. All materials must be deliverd via electronic medium. All ads must be delivered via electronic version, either on disk or e-mail in the ordered pixel dimensions unless otherwise noted.
For advertising offers, send an email with your name,company, website, country and advert or sponsored post you want to appear on our website to omodjk(at)gmail(dot)com

Normally, we should respond within 48 hours.