Dr Sidharth Kaushal, a Research Fellow on Sea Power at the Royal United Services Institute, told The Telegraph that the permanent deployment of the two Royal Navy ships was in line with the wider aims of Spring's defence review, which identified China and Russia as key global rivals. "It's not really a surprise, if one looks at the general tilt to the Indo-Pacific," he said. "The relationship between the UK and China has clearly become more competitive, but Britain is still inclined to hedge its bets on these things, stopping shy of directly confronting China," he said. "The Chinese won't be delighted, but they won't view it as massively inimical to their interests either."
Dr Sidharth Kaushal
Research Fellow, Sea Power