Nicholas Soames – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Ministry of Defence

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Nicholas Soames on 2016-03-21.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assessment he has made of whether there are circumstances under which the Government would consider deploying armed forces in the South China Sea.

Penny Mordaunt

The UK remains concerned about the situation in the South China Sea. We call on all parties to uphold freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight, to refrain from activities that increase tension, and to pursue urgently a settlement of the maritime disputes peacefully in accordance with international law. As a major trading nation that has substantial links with all the nations bordering the South China Sea the UK has a close security interest in the maintenance of regional peace and stability. While we have a limited permanent military presence in the form of the Brunei Garrison and our contribution to the Five Powers Defence Arrangements in Malaysia and Singapore, other than planning for routine exercises and defence engagement tasks. We have made no specific assessment of the circumstances under which we would deploy Armed Forces to the region.