Defence Committee

UK Defence and the Far East inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded

Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Defence Committee is conducting an inquiry into the security situation in the Far East and the potential role that UK Defence can play in the region.


The Far East has become an area of growing concern for UK Governments and allies, including the USA, in recent years, prompted by China’s programme of military modernisation and her activities in the South and East China Seas. 

Over the past decade, China has pursued a number of territorial claims, including through the rapid and large-scale reclamation of territory in the South China Sea, overseeing a substantial military build-up in the region, pursuits of territorial claims that have defied international law and have prompted protests from neighbouring states. In the East China Sea, China has also been embroiled in disputes with Japan over their rival territorial claims to the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands and their respective maritime boundaries.

As a result, tensions have steadily risen in the South and East China Seas, prompting rival regional actors, most notably Japan, to develop their military capabilities and conduct military exercises in the region.

Terms of reference

Latest evidence

Next meeting(s)

There are currently no public meetings scheduled.



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