UK Defence engagement with Asia

East Asia: 17 Jun 2013: Hansard Written Answers and Statements - TheyWorkForYou

Mr Jim Murphy: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence in which East Asian countries the UK has military facilities or personnel; and what change there has been in such deployments in the last 10 years. [159934]
Mr Robathan: The United Kingdom has Defence Attachés in Brunei, China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia and Singapore. Posts in the Philippines and Thailand were closed in 2006 and 2007, respectively. The Defence section in China was expanded from two Attaché posts to three in 2006, and there were reductions in Malaysia (from two posts to one in 2007) and Korea (from two posts to one in 2008). In the course of the next 12 months, reflecting the Government's network shift to Asia, we plan to reinstate the post in Thailand and also to establish resident Attaché coverage in Burma and Vietnam.
In support of our commitment to the Five Powers Defence Arrangements with Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Singapore we maintain a small Naval facility at Sembawang in Singapore and contribute to the staff of the Integrated Area Defence System Headquarters (HQ IADS) at Butterworth in Malaysia. Staff at Sembawang total one Commander Royal Navy (who also serves as assistant Defence Attaché), one Chief Petty Officer, one Petty officer and three Ministry of Defence civil servants. This has remained constant for the last 10 years. Our contribution to HQ IADS over the period has remained constant at one Wing Commander, one Squadron Leader, one Lieutenant Commander, one Major and one other rank.
We maintain a garrison in Brunei. From 2003 to 2013 the number of Garrison Support Troops has remained broadly constant, varying between 100 and 130. These figures include seven Flight Army Air Corps, Training Team Brunei and the Theatre Support Troops.
Between 2003 and 2013 the Resident Infantry Battalion garrisoned in Brunei has reduced from a high of about 830 to the current level of 648. Since 2003 there have been four deployments from the garrison to Afghanistan of up to 550 personnel.
Small price to pay while all the attention has been on Afghanistan. What about the future especially with the US alignment towards Asia?
Is that the same Jim Murphy who was Defence Minister under Labour?

Is that a planted question or a booby trap?

Is it suggesting we need more, or fewer staff in that area?
I can't remember Jim Murphy's positions in the past. He's Shadow Defence now.

He's just asking though I would say the UK should slightly beef up its engagement with SE Asia. Iraq and Afghanistan steered the focus away from there
Singapore is independent plus its armed forces are highly capable.
Very small and with a strong conscripted element but well-equipped and I'd imagine they'd make life difficult for any occupying force even if they could be overcome.
Very small and with a strong conscripted element but well-equipped and I'd imagine they'd make life difficult for any occupying force even if they could be overcome.
Have you checked out Singapore's defence structure? Just ecause the army (the formation with the largest number of National Servicemen) is not a 100% regular force doesnt mean it is incapable of defending the city state.

Singapore has the most advanced weapons amongst Asian and Southeast Asian nations. And who is to invade Singapore in this current economic climate? Plus, even with FPDA, do you think the UK can muster a defence force in time to reach Singapore?
I certainly was not criticising or belittling them.


Book Reviewer
The Singaporeans, Malaysians, Thais, etc, are possibly not in a good place. They've got China on one side, who presumably no-one trusts, and Japan on the other, who no-one has forgotten. No wonder they are keen to get plenty of Western involvement. Their best bet is good kit, operated by trained and motivated crews - and the best kit comes from USA/Europe - hence probably the new DA posts in Thailand, Vietnam ad Burma - nothing like a decent DA for flogging stuff! :)


As trade is increasing from China, is there any protection to stop states that are on the trade routes from ransoming or embargoing those routes, and what is our response as our expeditionary capability has deteriorated in the last 10 years?
why would a state want to block vessels coming in - too much economic damage would be done from this. There are no points on the trading routes where you cant divert and go another way - it would just take longer and cost more.
Any nation blocking Chinese ships would find itself discovering the PLA(N) has some interesting ROE...
Any country blocking PRC vessels would find it a pointless waste of time and money since the majority of traffic through their ports consists of non-PRC vessels.

It would be a great way to expand the blockaders' range of enemies, though.

Similar threads

New Posts

Latest Threads