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Indo-Pacific Region: Armed Forces

Question for Ministry of Defence

UIN 48280, tabled on 6 September 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, with reference to page 67 of the Integrated Review 2021 and the escalation of tensions on the Taiwan border, what recent assessment his Department has made of the adequacy of the UK’s military presence in the Indo-Pacific region.

Answered on

13 September 2022

The Integrated Review recognises that the Indo-Pacific region is at the centre of intensifying geopolitical competition with multiple potential flashpoints. The recent actions and remarks made by China on Taiwan are concerning. We will continue to encourage open communication and de-escalation.

The Ministry of Defence regularly reviews UK global defence posture and capabilities to take account of emerging threats and crises. We have not made an assessment as to the adequacy of the UK's military presence in the Indo-Pacific region. However, we are strengthening defence and security cooperation, increasing our engagement with regional security groupings and exercising with the US, Australia and regional partners, including through the Five Powers Defence Arrangements (FPDA) members.

Our maritime presence in the region has grown, with the deployment of two Offshore Patrol Vessels (OPVs) as part of our persistent presence approach. The joint UK and US defence facility on the British Indian Ocean Territory plays a vital role in our efforts to keep the region secure and we retain a permanent presence in Brunei, through the Resident Infantry Battalion.