Operation Fortis should be ‘no more controversial than any warship’s voyage between two points’, says Dr Bill Hayton.
In this explainer for the Council on Geostrategy, Dr Bill Hayton looks at the reasons behind the Carrier Strike Group’s deployment to the Indo-Pacific region and how the Chinese Communist Party is likely to respond to its presence.
He examines several narrative tools that the mouthpieces of the Communist government will most likely employ: calling the deployment an infringement on Chinese sovereignty; a colonialism ‘redux’; another Opium War; claiming Britain is nothing more than an American stooge; claiming Britain is causing trouble where there is none; dismissal of the Carrier Strike Group’s importance; and claiming to have expelled British ships after they have left of their own accord.
If this were truly the case, then the other countries of the region would not be inviting the CSG to visit and take part in joint exercises. Chinese commentators are unwilling to acknowledge that it is their own government’s actions that are creating distrust and tension in the region. It is this tension that concerns countries such as the UK.Dr Bill Hayton