United Kingdom sends aircraft carrier to Pacific in show of strength to China

CHINA WARNING: ’Big Lizzie' set for South China Sea mission as UK HITS OUT at global giant

CHINA WARNING: ’Big Lizzie' set for South China Sea mission as UK HITS OUT at global giant

The ship's first operational deployment will be announced by Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson who will claim China and Russian Federation have "blurred" the boundaries between peace and war.

Later in the day, UK Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson will speak at the Royal United Services Institute in London, where he is due to unveil his plans for the modernisation of the country's armed forces, which he will say should increase its "mass and lethality".

The alliance "must develop its ability to handle the kind of provocations that Russian Federation is throwing at us".

"Such action from Russian Federation must come at a cost", Williamson will say in the speech, according to the text.

He will say: "To talk but fail to act risks our nation being seen as little more than a paper tiger".

Mr Williamson will say the Government's "Global Britain" mantra must involve "action to oppose those who flout worldwide law".

'Significantly, British and American F-35s will be embedded in the carrier's air wing, enhancing the reach and lethality of our forces and reinforcing the fact that the USA remains our very closest of partners'.

Setting out how he plans to spend some of the £1.8 billion extra funding for defence secured past year, Mr Williamson will promise a "very significant additional investment" in cyber capabilities including improving the UK's ability to carry out its own online attacks and protect against hackers.

Williamson, in his speech, will outline plans to adopt a stronger military stance after Brexit, including sending its new aircraft carrier to the Pacific and investing in enhanced offensive cybercapabilities.

He will say: "Against adversaries upping their spending and advancing technology, we have to respond. And with the world changing so rapidly, it is up to us to seize the opportunity that Brexit brings", he will note.

The defence secretary won an extra £1.8bn for defence in the last budget.

"Instead of simply engaging in yet more sabre-rattling, Gavin Williamson should get to grips with the crisis in defence funding that is happening on his watch".

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