(From AFP)

The United States has deployed a P-8 Poseidon spy plane in Singapore for the first time ever, both countries said, amid simmering regional tensions over Beijing’s island-building in the disputed South China Sea.

P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane
P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol plane

China is locked in a territorial dispute with four Southeast Asian countries — including Washington allies Vietnam and the Philippines — and the US in October sent a warship near the disputed Spratly Islands chain, arguing for its right to freedom of navigation.

Singapore and Washington stressed the need for a strong US military presence in the region, where the plane was deployed Monday and will remain until December 14.

US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and his Singapore counterpart Ng Eng Hen “welcomed the inaugural deployment of the P-8 Poseidon aircraft”, in a joint statement issued after a meeting in Washington on Monday. Read More