Britain trying to headline grab in South China Sea, says state media

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Mr Williamson said HMS Sutherland, a Type-23 frigate, will sail through the waters, much of which China claims as its own, after a visit to Australia.

He added: "She'll (Sutherland) be sailing through the South China Sea and making it clear our navy has a right to do that".

"If not provocation, the Royal Navy should behave modestly when passing through the South China Sea", it said in editorials published in its English and Chinese-language editions.

In a move that is likely to irk Beijing, HMS Sutherland, an anti-submarine frigate, will set sail from Australia, taking a detour through through the resource-rich waterway on its way back to Britain. The US can only concentrate on so many things at once, " Mr Williamson added.

It has been turning reefs and islets into islands and installing military facilities such as runways and equipment on them, according to the reports.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano praised on Wednesday the the second meeting of the China-Philippines Bilateral Consultation Mechanism (BCM) on the South China Sea.

He didn't specify whether this voyage would come within 12 nautical miles of a Chinese artificial island, but he did commend the United States, which has done so.

Chinese state media claims UK foray into South China Sea is just 'attention-seeking'

"I think we've always got to be vigilant to any form of malign intent".

The Philippine foreign secretary also said the "warm and friendly relations" between the Philippines and China also resulted in tremendous economic benefits for the country, contributing to the economic development in the Philippines.

"A good example is in terms of what you've been looking at in terms of critical national infrastructure. we've always encouraged investment from outside but it's making sure it's for right time of investment and it isn't something that puts our utilities, our critical national infrastructure in a more vulnerable position". China offers great opportunities but it provides great challenges as well.

Chinese state-run media has blasted London for its plans to send a warship through the disputed South China Sea next month, saying that "by acting tough against China, Britain's Ministry of Defence is trying to validate its existence and grab attention".

Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, in this regard, said,"All countries in accordance with worldwide law enjoy freedom of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea".

Likewise in 2016, the Communist Party's mouthpiece The Global Times launched a scathing attack on the Australian government, following its decision to support an worldwide tribunal over the South China Sea.

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