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UK calls for more resources in Indo-Pacific

The UK Royal Navy offshore patrol vessel HMS Spey is pictured at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in December 2021. Spey and sister ship Tamar are permanently forward deployed to the Indo-Pacific region. (Crown copyright/UK Ministry of Defence, 2022)

The UK needs to devote more resources to the Indo-Pacific region amid China's growing threat and create a dedicated strategy that sets out how military instruments can be used to protect London's interests in the region.

This was the assessment made by the UK House of Commons Defence Committee in its report on the country's so-called ‘tilt' into the Indo-Pacific region. The report was published on 24 October and stems from an inquiry that began in January 2022.

Among other goals, the inquiry was established to assess the UK's defence posture in the Indo-Pacific, the state of its relations with countries in the region, and how the military might be able to play a role in strengthening these relations.

The UK first articulated plans for an ‘Indo-Pacific tilt' in its integrated review of security, defence, development, and foreign policy objectives in 2021.

Since then, the UK Royal Navy has stationed two River-class offshore patrol vessels, HMS Tamar and HMS Spey, in the Indo-Pacific region on multi-year deployments. These are the first UK Royal Navy vessels to be forward deployed in the region since the handover of Hong Kong in 1997.

In July 2023 the UK Ministry of Defence published an updated Defence Command Paper, which stated that it has “more than delivered on the defence commitments [the UK] made to the tilt”, through an increased regional presence.

“Although we welcome the progress made in the region, we reject the notion that the ‘tilt' has been ‘achieved' from a defence perspective

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