UK Plans to Create 'Persistent' Military Presence in Indo-Pacific Region
© AP Photo / Laura LeonBritain's Royal Navy ship. (File)
© AP Photo / Laura Leon
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom plans to maintain an ongoing and “persistent” but not continuous security presence in the Indo-Pacific region, Chief of the Defense Staff Gen. Nicholas Carter said on Tuesday.
“The United Kingdom has plans to establish a 'persistent' military presence in the Indo–Pacific region,” Carter told a podcast hosted by the Center for a New American Security.
Carter explained that the visit of the warships would be an intermittent one.
“Realistically, it’s episodic… It’s not going to occur every year,” he said.
Carter noted the United Kingdom had a long-term association with many countries in the region going back to the days of the British Empire. He said London continued to operate an advanced jungle warfare school in Brunei on the island of Borneo.
“Our jungle warfare school in Brunei will be available to friends and partners in due course … We’ve always recruited a lot of service men and women from these countries. We’ve always had 350 Gurkhas. We’re going build on those long associations,” he said.
However, the revived planned increased UK presence in the Indo-Pacific would not be accompanied by any reduction in London's contribuition to and participation in NATO, Carter added.
Last month, Australia, the UK and the US announced the AUKUS pact to "ensure peace and stability" in the Indo-Pacific region. The announcement came as Canberra unilaterally withdrew from a $66 billion agreement with France's Naval Group on the delivery of 12 diesel submarines to Australia in favour of the supply of nuclear-powered vessels to the country within the framework of the AUKUS alliance. Paris described the cancellation of the Australian-French submarine contract a "stab in the back" and a "unilateral, brutal, unpredictable" action.