Lloyd Austin to travel to Indo-Pacific next week
Lloyd Austin to travel to Indo-Pacific next weekMike Brest
May 26, 12:49 PM May 26, 12:49 PM
Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin will travel to the Indo-Pacific region next week, where he will meet with regional defense leaders.
As a part of his seventh official visit to the region, the secretary will travel to Japan, Singapore, India, and France.
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While in Japan, he’ll meet with Japanese Defense Minister Yasukazu Hamada and other senior leaders and visit United States troops stationed in Japan. Then he’ll travel to Singapore, where he will deliver plenary remarks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 20th Shangri-La Dialogue.
From there, he’ll go to New Delhi to meet with Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and other leaders, and he will then conclude his trip in France to participate in events commemorating the 79th anniversary of D-Day, and meet with French and United Kingdom defense leaders.
On Friday, the secretary addressed the graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy’s commencement.
“America’s seapower lets us sail and fly, and operate alongside our unrivaled network of allies and partners, from the South China Sea, to the Gulf of Aden, to the Caribbean. It lets us project power around the world,” Austin said at the ceremony in Annapolis. “It helps us secure the sea lanes for the free movement of people, goods, and ideas.”
The more than 1,000 graduates that make up the U.S. Naval Academy’s class of 2023 will now advance on for more advanced training and eventual deployment with the Marines or Navy. They’ll be entering the military ranks at a juncture in time when the department’s attention is focused on the region.
The Pentagon views China as its “pacing challenge” and describes the People’s Liberation Army or PLA as the only power that has the intent and capability to reshape the international order in its favor, while it considers Russia to be an “acute” threat.
U.S.-Beijing relations have been at a rocky point over the last couple of months with a possible looming battle over Taiwan, the tiny island China considers its own territory. Beijing has increased its aggressive maneuvers toward Taiwan, often using perceived slights by the U.S. as apparent justification for these military exercises.