Defence pact 'can help SE Asia manage tensions'

Defence pact 'can help SE Asia manage tensions'

Police stand guard outside the venue of the Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore on Friday. (Photo: AFP)
Police stand guard outside the venue of the Shangri-La Dialogue summit in Singapore on Friday. (Photo: AFP)

SINGAPORE: Top officials from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Britain said on Saturday that their 51-year-old Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) pact was solid, relevant and crucial to managing rising tensions in the region.

After meeting on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, the officials told a news conference that the relationship among the member nations was warm, and that they were focused on the future even amid increasing geopolitical complexities.

As tensions in the region increase sharply, particularly between China and United States allies, the FPDA has great relevance as a moderating force, said Malaysia's Senior Minister for Defence, Hishammuddin Hussein.

"My biggest concern is unintended incidents and accidents that may spiral out of control and make it bigger than what it is," Hishammuddin said. "If these platforms (such as the FPDA) did not exist, there wouldn't be any opportunity to manage incidents that do sometimes go out of control."

Hishammuddin, Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles, New Zealand Defence Minister Peeni Henare and British High Commissioner to Singapore Kara Owen also reaffirmed their commitment to the FPDA and noted its relevance for the future.

"Australia is deeply committed to the FPDA," Marles said. "It's not something we take for granted."


Do you like the content of this article?
COMMENT (4)

US unveils next-generation stealth bomber

LOS ANGELES: The United States has unveiled the B-21 Raider, a high-tech stealth bomber that can carry nuclear and conventional weapons and is designed to be able to fly without a crew on board.

21:55

Global goods trade forecast to shrink in 2023

The global goods trade will shrink next year in a downturn reminiscent of previous recessions, Oxford Economics said, in a worrying forecast for Asia’s export-dependent economies and beyond.

21:24

Football legend Pele 'receiving palliative care'

SAO PAULO: Brazilian football legend Pele is receiving palliative care after chemotherapy stopped having the expected results as he battles colon cancer, the newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported on Saturday.

21:11