Japan and Britain send ‘symbolic message’ to China with joint naval drills near disputed islands

A Royal Navy task force headed by aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth held its first naval drill earlier this week with the Japanese Maritime Self-Defence Force off Okinawa, as part of Britain’s bid to join the US and its allies in an expanded role in Indo-Pacific security.The exercise involved the aircraft carrier and HMS Defender and HMS Kent, accompanied by the Dutch warship HNLMS Evertsen, the USS The Sullivans and USS New Orleans as well as the Japanese destroyer Asahi. China hits out at…