Britain plans to build a naval base in Southeast Asia. This plan was put forward by British Defense Minister Gavin Williamson.
Williamson said the naval base would likely be between Brunei Darussalam and Singapore, as reported by the South China Morning Post, January 2, 2019.
Willamson said Britain would open two new military bases in the next few years, including one in the Caribbean. He said this step would restore Britain to become a player in the global realm after Brexit.
“This is the greatest moment of the nation since the end of World War II, when we can reconstitute ourselves in different ways, we really can play a role on the world stage that the world hopes we play,” he said.
This step marked a policy change from Britain’s withdrawal from military bases in Southeast Asia and the Persian Gulf in the 1960s.
But this step, if realized, would overshadow China’s relations with its neighbors in ASEAN and would make tensions continue after British warships sailed near the South China Sea Paracel Island.