10 December 2015
China’s military is closely watching an agreement between the United States and Singapore to deploy the US P-8 Poseidon surveillance plane to the city state and hopes the move does not harm regional stability, said the Defense Ministry. “We are paying close attention to how the relevant situation develops, and hope bilateral defence cooperation between the relevant countries is beneficial to regional peace and stability and not the opposite,” said the Ministry in a brief statement.
The Foreign Ministry of China, which is at odds with Washington over Beijing’s reclamation activities in the South China Sea, said the deployment was aimed at militarising the region and was detrimental to regional peace. However, analysts TODAY spoke with noted that the move is unlikely to significantly affect US-China or Singapore-China ties.
In a joint statement after a meeting this week in Washington, US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen welcomed the inaugural deployment of the aircraft in Singapore from Dec 7 to 14. A US defence official has said further deployments in Singapore could be expected.
… Ms Angela Poh, a researcher on China’s foreign and security policy at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said the latest P-8 deployment is another high signature move by the US — following its recent freedom of navigation operations — to indicate that it would not allow China to unilaterally change the status quo in the South China Sea.
GPO / Online / Print
Last updated on 10/12/2015