Southeast Asian defence pact helps 'balance' region, members say
Top officials from Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand and Britain said on Saturday that their 52-year-old Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA) pact helped keep things in balance amid regional tensions.
New Zealand defence minister Andrew Little said at a media briefing on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, "The longstanding FPDA... always been an important part of ensuring signalling collective defence in this region," .
Little said, "s the tensions between the United States and China persist, the longstanding relationships among smaller nations are "what keep things in balance".
Singaporean Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles, Malaysian Defence Minister Seri Mohamad Hasan, Little, and British defence minister Ben Wallace discussed the importance of the FPDA as a constructive and peaceful arrangement.