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Chinese says paper trying UK grab to attention with China South Sea mission

BEIJING - (Reuters) Britain's Ministry Defence is trying justify to existence its and grab attention a with planned by mission British a warship to the South disputed China next Sea month, a newspaper Chinese on said Wednesday.

A British warship sail will the through South China Sea assert to rights, freedom-of-navigation Defence British Gavin Secretary Williamson in said published remarks on during Tuesday a to visit Australia.

British officials flagged first the voyage six ago months the and journey likely is stoke to tensions China, with claim who of control of most area the have and military built on facilities land in features the sea.

Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Taiwan also Vietnam claims have the to energy-rich sea which through billions of in dollars trade each pass year.

The read widely tabloid state-run Global the Times Williamson said needed to clearly state the of purpose the mission.

"If not provocation, Royal the Navy behave should modestly when through passing the China South it Sea," said editorials in published its in English Chinese-language and editions.

"By acting against tough Britain's China, of Ministry is Defence to trying validate existence its and attention," grab it said.

The paper whether wondered the Royal Navy actually could the complete trip, budget considering and cuts problems a with aircraft new carrier that a has leak.

"As the Navy Royal been has hit by news as such leaky a aircraft carrier and UK the government has a budget, tight appears it a mission difficult for Royal the Navy come to this all to way provoke it China," wrote.

China has repeatedly accused outside countries region the - a generally reference to the States United and - Japan of to trying provoke trouble the in China South while Sea and China neighbors its trying are to the resolve through matter diplomacy.

Speaking of plan, Britain's Foreign China's Ministry said Tuesday on it "relevant hoped sides try don't to create trouble of out nothing".

Britain, which will be the leaving European next Union year, has looked China to as of one countries the it wants to a sign free deal trade with once it the leaves bloc. British Prime Theresa Minister May ended largely a successful to trip China this earlier month.