Britains crazy abstinence farce has inevitably diverted attention from a companion strategy formulated by the nostalgic English nativists, who are the core groups in Britains quest for freedom from Europe. This strategy is aimed at restoring Britains glorious position as a world economic and military power.
Efforts to global Britain have been the focus of attention over the past week for two reasons: one is that after Britain withdrew from the Pacific nearly half a century ago, it is now considering establishing naval bases in East Asia, possibly Singapore or Brunei. Second, Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson aims to increase Britains defense budget by 50% to build four new fearless nuclear submarines.
But lets look at the problem objectively. The defense budget of the United States is as high as $610 billion, while that of China is $228 billion. As the Financial Times pointed out, Chinas annual shipbuilding scale is almost equivalent to the entire Royal Navy.
Since the closure of Singapores garrison in 1971 and the withdrawal of British troops from Hong Kong in 1997, there has been no British garrison in Asia east of Oman Dukum. Britain later readjusted its role as an international power to a lower profile, concentrating its defense resources in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Britain currently dispatches 81 military officers to various parts of the world, including 27 in Europe, 28 in Africa and 18 in Asia.
The reality is that Britains efforts to increase defense spending and shift its focus to Asia are not so much defense-related as flattery in response to Donald Trumps criticism of NATOs responsibilities and funding issues in a world that could become a lone widow after leaving Europe.
In this regard, Britain will suffer heavy losses. The volume of trade with China accounts for more than half of the volume of trade between Britain and East Asia. In 2018, exports to China were close to US$23 billion, and imports exceeded US$55 billion. Close alliance with the United States in the growing conflict between China and the United States is bound to jeopardize the fast-growing economic ties with Beijing.
DATA FIGURE: British Typhoon fighters went to Japan for joint military exercises with the Self-Defense Forces.