UK aircraft carrier heads for Indo-Pacific

Britain's state-of-the-art aircraft carrier, the HMS Queen Elizabeth, has left for the Indo-Pacific region on a world tour that will last about seven months..

The dispatch of the ship to the region is believed to boost Britain's involvement in the Indo-Pacific region and to deter China which is asserting its influence there.

The British government called for increasing focus on the region in a new policy paper on diplomacy and security for the coming 10 years which was released in March.

It stressed the growing importance of the area in economy and security. It said the aircraft carrier will be sailing there in 2021.

Queen Elizabeth visited the carrier on Saturday before its departure from a naval base in the southern city of Portsmouth. Many people saw it off at night.

The carrier leads a strike group which will be joined by a US destroyer and a Dutch frigate. They will sail to the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean and into the Pacific.

It will make a number of port calls including ones in Japan, India and South Korea. It will also participate in joint exercises with Japan's Self-Defense Forces.

The head of the Royal Navy, Admiral Tony Radakin told NHK that the deployment is showing Britain's new capability, together with its allies and partners who share values and interests.

He added that he expects all nations including China to observe and follow rules in the Indo-Pacific.