Beijing: China’s military is decide “close attention” to an agreement between the United States and Singapore to deploy the U.S. P8 Poseidon spy plane to the city state and hopes the move does not harm territorial stable, the security Ministry said.
We are decide close attention to how the contingent situation develops, and hope bilateral security cooperation between the contingent countries is beneficial to regional peace and stable and not the opposite, the ministry said in a brief statement late on Tuesday.
The foreign ministry of China, which is at odds with Washington over the South China Sea, said on Tuesday the move was point at militarising the region.
Statement after a sitting in Washington on Monday, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen welcomed the deployment of the aircraft in Singapore from Dec. 7 to 14.
A U.S. protection official said further deployments in Singapore could be required.
Ng said a seminar in Washington on Wednesday that Singapore had agreed the P8 deployment would be “rotational” and said it added further “substance” to Washington’s assurances that it would continue to act as a stabiling force in Asia.
China claims nearly all of the energy-rich waters of the South China Sea, through which more than $5 trillion of maritime trade passes each year. The Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Taiwan have overlapping claims.
The United States still operates P8s from Japan and the Philippines, and has operated surveillance flights from Singapore’s neighbour, Malaysia.
Washington has criticized China’s building of artificial islands in the South China Sea’s controversial Spratly archipelago, and has operated sea and air patrols near them.
Previous month, U.S. B-52 bombers flew near some of China’s artificial islands and at the end of October a U.S. guided-missile destroyer sailed within 12 nautical miles of one of them.
The Chinese navy issued eight alert to the crew of a U.S. P8 that flew near the islands, according to CNN, which had reporters on the aircraft.