History of WPNS

China Military Online    2014-04-21 17:54:37

  BEIJING, April 21 (ChinaMil) – The Western Pacific Naval Symposium (WPNS) was founded in 1988. On the 9th International Sea-power Symposium (ISS, biennial symposium for global naval leaders sponsored by the U.S.) held in 1987, the U.S. suggested regional conference be held in the year when there was no ISS, which was quickly accepted by Australia.

  The first WPNS was held in Sydney, Australia in 1988. The first group of WPNS members was based on the 12 member countries attending the 9th ISS, including Australia, Brunei, China, Japan, New Zealand, the ROK, Singapore, Thailand, the U.S., Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea.

  Being a sub-forum of the ISS at first, the WPNS was not operating on its own until 1994. Since then, it has laid down its own constitution and become a regional naval symposium.

  After more than 20 years of development, the WPNS has become an event with extensive influence, with members almost including all countries from the West Pacific, and some of those influential countries from the Pacific region as observer countries.

  As of 2014, the number of its member countries rose to 21 and observer countries to 3, with members including Australia, Canada, Chile, France, Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, Tonga, Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, China, Peru, the Philippines, the ROK, Singapore, Russia, Vietnam, Thailand and the U.S., and observer countries including Bangladesh, India and Mexico (Pakistan’s observer status to be certified).

  Now, the influence of the WPNS has reached beyond the West Pacific as its members not only include Canada and Chile from the East Pacific, but also non-pacific countries such as India and Bangladesh from the Indian Ocean.