Singapore Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said that his country wants India to play a bigger role in the South China Sea, according to a report in the Bloomberg.
This statement comes in a time when China generating plenty of anxiety from the other nations in the neighborhood as it isn't just expanding its military reach into the South China Sea; it's rapidly building completely new islands.
Ng’s comments follow calls for Japan to separately play an enhanced role in the South China Sea. Singapore has been a strong supporter of India’s increased engagement in the region through security forums, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said.
India’s involvement in the region could give Southeast Asian nations a further buffer against China as that country seeks to enforce its claims to the majority of the South China Sea and push back against decades of U.S. military dominance in the Pacific.
China is taking desolate reefs among the Spratly Islands and building them into man-made bases. China is also looking to build a maritime trade route linking a network of ports through the Indian Ocean with Europe via the Suez Canal, a prospect that has unnerved India.
China is looking to expand its biggest installation in the Spratly Islands into a fully formed artificial island, complete with airstrip and sea port, to better project its military strength in the South China Sea
India, meanwhile, said that stability in the strategic waterway is necessary for economic prosperity in the region.