Countries need constant dialogue to avoid misunderstanding: Ng Eng Hen
- POSTED: 14 Dec 2013 12:43
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As Asia's militaries modernise, there is a need to ensure constant dialogue and cooperation between all countries to avoid misunderstanding and reduce tensions, said Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
WASHINGTON: As Asia's militaries modernise, there is a need to ensure constant dialogue and cooperation between all countries to avoid misunderstanding and reduce tensions.
There must also be responsive and effective dispute resolution mechanisms to address differences through peaceful means.
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen made these points in his speech at the US Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington D.C. on Friday.
He also said that it is for this purpose that the ADMM-Plus -- which brings together the 10 member states of ASEAN and eight other countries: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia, and the United States -- has entrenched itself as a valuable platform.
He also sees a more action-oriented role for the grouping.
"When Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines, many countries responded individually. The ADMM-Plus militaries could perhaps have been more effective working together, and these challenges point to the need for more coordinated and collective efforts."
Reiterating the importance of the US role to regional stability, Dr Ng said: "The US, as a resident power in the Asia-Pacific for the past 50 years, needs to continue that role as a stabilising force in the region. But the US needs to play this role fully aware of the changing dynamics of a rising Asia.
"The US-China relationship is of paramount importance to regional and global stability. Singapore looks forward to enlightened and forceful leadership from both the US and Chinese governments to help achieve stability and progress for Asia and indeed, the world."