China has warned the UK's Carrier Strike Group, led by the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth not to carry out any "improper acts" as it enters the contested South China Sea.
'The People's Liberation Army Navy is at a high state of combat readiness' says the pro-government Global Times, seen as a mouthpiece for the ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP), reports the BBC.
China has been closely monitoring the progress eastward of the Carrier Strike Group, which is currently sailing through the South China Sea en route to Japan, while accusing Britain of "still living in its colonial days".
The Royal Navy has been carrying out exercises with the Singaporean navy and Britain's Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has made no secret of the intention to conduct a so-called "Freedom of Navigation" exercise through the South China Sea.
Contrary to a 2016 international court ruling, China claims much of that sea as its own and has been busy building artificial reefs and runways, some of them close to the territorial waters of neighbouring states.
Both US and Royal Navy warships have recently challenged China's claims to sovereignty in the South China Sea by purposely sailing through it.