Asia is spending more than NATO in absolute terms and the rate of increase has even surpassed Europe.
Singapore Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen commented during a speech at the 51st Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Germany on Saturday.
In his address, Dr Ng justified Asia's increased defence spending as "playing catch-up" because of rising economies, but voiced concern over Asia's lack of well-developed security architecture. "It is well known that leaders of countries in Northeast Asia do not talk to each other much," Dr Ng said.
"Few platforms exist, whether it is between the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK), whether it is between China and Japan, whether it is Japan and the ROK and between China and Taiwan."
Dr Ng cited the lack of a strong collective will in Asia not to engage in conflicts unlike Europe, which created formal structures and alliances in the wake of the two world wars.
"You'll remember at last year's MSC, Mr Kissinger said that Asia reminded him of Europe, 19th century Europe, at risk of a conflagration," Dr Ng reminded the audience.
However, the rise of prosperity in Asia is a reason for optimism, Dr Ng said, as instability in the region would not benefit any country.
"There are multiple stakeholders in the AsiaPacific region who are committed to be present," Dr Ng said of US, India, Australia and the EU's interest in Asia as the second reason for optimism.
The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) announced Thursday that it has approved Singaporean F-16 Block 52 Upgrade Program for an estimated cost of $130 million. The Government of Singapore has requested a possible sale for the upgrade of 60 F-16C/D/D+ aircraft
NATO announced Tuesday that it has started testing of its new ‘spearhead force, known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF). The VJTF is a brigade that will be able to deploy within 48 hours and will eventually include 5,000 troops
Singapore Air Force (RSAF)'s Hermes 450 (H-450) Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) has achieved Full Operational Capability (FOC) status, Singaporean Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen announced Monday. Ng said, "The Hermes 450 is one of the most capable UAVs in its class and indeed, the world
Singapore Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday that it has launched a new submarine training center (STC) at Changi Naval Base. Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han officiated at the launch this afternoon
The US on Monday has delivered more than 100 military equipment to NATO-allied Baltic nations to deter perceived Russian threat. The deliveries included Abrams Tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles, Scout Humvees, Stryker armored vehicles along with combat support units
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