Beijing's ambassador to London has warned Britain against stationing a new aircraft carrier in the Pacific, arguing it would be a "very dangerous move" in a newspaper interview published on Saturday.
Liu Xiaoming, China's top envoy in the UK, told The Times that as London cuts trading ties with the European Union later this year, it should not "gang up with the United States on the Chinese" with military deployments.
"After Brexit I think the UK still wants to play an important role in the world," he told the paper.
"That is not the way to play an important role."
The Times reported this week UK military planners have hatched plans to station the HMS Queen Elizabeth carrier in the Pacific as part of an international alliance to counter China.
The £3.1 billion (US$3.9 billion) vessel is due to set sail on her maiden deployment next year, on a tour that includes the region amid concerns over freedom of navigation in the South China Sea.
But the possibility of basing the carrier there more permanently comes as tensions between London and Beijing are rising over a host of issues, including Hong Kong's new national security law, and as US-China relations also deteriorate markedly.
Britain on Tuesday bowed to sustained pressure from Washington and ordered the phased removal of Chinese telecoms giant Huawei from its 5G network despite warnings of retaliation from Beijing.
Liu Xiaoming called the move a "disappointing and wrong decision" and has predicted it will sap billions of pounds of investment in the UK from China's firms.
"Now all things [have] changed," he told The Times, adding Huawei was now "an example" to other Chinese companies. (AFP)