Navy: South China Sea

Ministry of Defence written question – answered on 13th February 2019.

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Photo of Daniel Kawczynski Daniel Kawczynski Conservative, Shrewsbury and Atcham

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what steps the Government is taking to increase the (a) number and (b) frequency of Royal Navy exercises in the South China Sea.

Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster The Minister of State, Ministry of Defence

The UK has enduring interests in the region and is committed to maintaining regional peace, prosperity and security, and upholding the Rules Based International System. Royal Navy vessels will therefore continue to regularly operate, navigate and exercise within the South China Sea, including with regional allies and partners. Furthermore, the UK is committed to asserting rights of freedom of navigation and overflight across the globe.

In 2018 HMS Sutherland, HMS Albion and HMS Argyll deployed to the Asia Pacific to provide a near-persistent presence in support of regional security as well as the enforcement of United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) sanctions on North Korea's illegal weapons programmes. HMS Montrose is currently in the region and will shortly undertake further support to UNSCR sanctions enforcement and a range of regional engagements.

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