In a show of imperialism redux, the UK is sending the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth to lead a naval group to sail through the South China Sea.

It will be a spectacular sight to see it berthed alongside a Singapore wharf. However, mixed with an understandable pride will also be a sense of anxiety because it presages a ratcheting up of tension not just in the South China Sea, but with China itself.

In Australia, the Home Affairs Department Secretary Mike Pezzullo warns that they “hear the beating drums and watch worryingly the militarisation of issues ... bracing yet again for the curse of war”.

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