Speaking to Express.co.uk, former First Sea Lord of the Royal Navy, Lord Alan West admitted his extreme concern over China’s pursuit to become the leading superpower in the world. Lord West served as Chief of the Naval Staff for four years from 2002 to 2006 before becoming parliamentary under-secretary of state for security and counter-terrorism under Gordon Brown. If no action is taken against Beijing in the South China Sea, Lord West warned the Communist Party’s aggressive land grabs in the region could lead to much worse consequences.
The Labour peer said: “I think we do need to stand up to China because it’s sabre rattling, as I say, it’s effectively claiming the South China Sea.
“It goes ‘the nine-dash line they see up to that belongs to us’.
“You’ve got to show the bullies on the stage, you’ve got to stand up to them.
“Otherwise, that’s exactly what happened in the Second World War with Hitler.
“I wouldn’t say it’s as inevitable as the war was with Germany but I think it is extremely worrying.
“The other worry is that nowadays with a war, you can’t afford to have global wars because they go nuclear.”
Amid China’s claims in the region, the former Sea Lord insisted the UK should look to form new alliances in the region to defend against and combat Beijing’s Communist Party.
Indeed, Lord West called for an alliance or organisation to be restored based on the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation.
Due to this, there is concern the Integrated Defence Review will also be scrapped or fail to provide a clear long-term plan for the military.
The former Sea Lord concluded: “We’re in a position where this integrated review is meant to be all things to all men and the most important review since the Cold War, according to the Prime Minister.
“But it’s been slightly derailed because of coronavirus. And because of the impact on our budget and our finances.
“I’m extremely worried that although all the good words that have been said about defence, there will be no money found to do the things that are required.”
This month, the US rejuvenated the Quad alliance with Japan, Australia and India.
Last week, India also invited Australia to naval exercises with the group for the first time since 2007.
The Quad alliance is seen as a four-state organisation designed to strengthen cooperation between the four states and represent a viable block to China.
This week, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo signed the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement on Geospatial Cooperation to provide sensitive satellite imagery to India.
In response, China warned the US to stop its Cold War rhetoric against the state.