Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Defence ministers from China, Asean to meet on sidelines of Singapore Airshow

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen will host visits by his regional counterparts as well as by the Chinese Minister of National Defence, General Chang Wanquan, in the coming week on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow 2018.

Defence ministers from China, Asean to meet on sidelines of Singapore Airshow

“As part of the ADMM Retreat programme, the Asean Defence Ministers will call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who will also host a lunch for them at the Singapore Airshow,” said the Ministry of Defence in a statement on Saturday (Feb 3). Photo: Najeer Yusof/TODAY

SINGAPORE — Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen will host visits by his regional counterparts as well as by the Chinese Minister of National Defence, General Chang Wanquan, in the coming week on the sidelines of the Singapore Airshow 2018.

Gen Chang will be in Singapore for his introductory visit from Feb 4 to Feb 8.

On Monday (Feb 5), defence chiefs from the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member states, as well as the Asean Secretary-General Lim Jock Hoi, will be here to attend the Asean Defence Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Retreat, which lasts for two days.

“As part of the ADMM Retreat programme, the Asean Defence Ministers will call on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, who will also host a lunch for them at the Singapore Airshow,” said the Ministry of Defence in a statement on Saturday (Feb 3), adding that the regional security chiefs will also have an informal meeting with Gen Chang.

This year marks Singapore’s chairmanship of Asean, the ADMM and the 18-member ADMM-Plus, which includes Asean, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Russia and the United States.

Singapore is also the coordinator of Asean-China dialogue relations from 2015 to 2018.

The formal ADMM and the ADMM-Plus meetings will be held in October, said Mindef.

Observers say that this week's AMM Retreat will likely see discussions focus on the threat of terrorism in the region. 

"What Singapore, as Asean chair, will probably push for is to enhance counter terror cooperation among ADMM Plus members and seek new and innovative ways to do so," said Dr Tan See Seng, Deputy Director of the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies. "I think Singapore may also push for cyber security cooperation." 

The retreat comes just days after six Asean members launched an intelligence pact aimed at combating Islamist militants and improving co-operation on security threats, overcoming what analysts described as a high level of distrust.

Under the “Our Eyes” initiative, senior defence officials from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Brunei will meet every two weeks to swap information on militant groups and develop a common database of violent extremists.

This is the second time that Singapore is chairing the ADMM, since its establishment in 2006 to promote mutual trust and confidence through greater understanding of defence and security challenges.

The ADMM-Plus was establised in 2010 after Asean defence ministers agreed to start engaging countries outside Asean on security and defence matters.

“As ADMM chair, Singapore plans to strengthen cooperation and build resilience among the ASEAN member states and eight “Plus” countries,” said a cover article in January’s edition of Pioneer magazine published by Mindef.

“In particular, Singapore will focus on three key thrusts: promoting regional counter-terrorism collaboration; growing a collective capability to defend against chemical, biological and radiological threats; and propagating the use of practical confidence-building measures in the aviation and maritime domains.”

Read more of the latest in

Advertisement

Popular

Advertisement

Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.

Aa