South China Sea: US agrees to spy plane deployment in Singapore

Washington: The United States has agreed with Singapore on a first deployment of the US P8 Poseidon spy plane in Singapore this month, in a fresh response to China over its pursuit of territorial claims in the South China Sea.

In a joint statement after a meeting in Washington on Monday, US Defence Secretary Ash Carter and Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen welcomed the inaugural deployment of the aircraft in Singapore from December 7 to 14.

A US defence official said further deployments in Singapore could be expected. The move comes at a time of heightened tensions in the South China Sea over China’s assertive pursuit of territorial claims there.

The US deployment is likely to anger China, which is at odds with Washington over the South China Sea. China claims almost the entire energy-rich sea, through which more than $US5 trillion ($6.8 trillion) of maritime trade passes each year.

The United States already operates P8s from Japan and the Philippines, and has also conducted surveillance flights from Singapore’s neighbour, Malaysia.

Full article: South China Sea: US agrees to spy plane deployment in Singapore (Sydney Morning Herald)

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