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NEWS | June 5, 2024

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III Concludes Tenth Visit to the Indo-Pacific

U.S. Department of Defense

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following release:

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III concluded his tenth official visit to the Indo-Pacific region today. During his trip, Secretary Austin met in Singapore with Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, counterparts from across the Indo-Pacific region, and other senior officials; delivered plenary remarks at the 2024 Shangri-La Dialogue; and met with Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet and other senior Cambodian officials in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Secretary Austin's Engagements on Friday, May 31

Secretary Austin met separately with Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen, where they reaffirmed the longstanding defense partnership between the United States and Singapore. Before their bilateral meeting, Secretary Austin and Minister Ng witnessed the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. Defense Innovation Unit and the Singapore Ministry of Defence.

Secretary Austin also met with People's Republic of China (PRC) Minister of National Defense Admiral Dong Jun to discuss regional and global security issues, U.S.-PRC defense relations, and the importance of open lines of military-to-military communication.

Secretary Austin's Engagements on Saturday, June 1

During plenary remarks delivered at the 2024 Shangri-La Dialogue, Secretary Austin marked the Indo-Pacific region's "new convergence" of likeminded allies and partners who share a vision for a free and open region. "Likeminded countries across this region have deepened our ties—and delivered real-world results for the people of the Indo-Pacific," he said. In his remarks, Secretary Austin also welcomed the U.S. endorsement of a new multilateral Statement of Principles for Indo-Pacific Defense Industrial Base Collaboration.

Secretary Austin also met bilaterally with counterparts from countries across the Indo-Pacific, including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles from Australia, President-elect and Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto from Indonesia, Minister of Defense Mohamad Khalad from Malaysia, Secretary of National Defense Gilberto Teodoro from the Philippines, and Minister of Defense Sutin Khlangsaeng from Thailand.

Secretary Austin's Engagements on Sunday, June 2

Secretary Austin, Japanese Minister of Defense Kihara Minoru and Republic of Korea (ROK) Minister of Defense Shin Won-sik convened a Trilateral Ministerial Meeting (TMM) to discuss new initiatives to strengthen and institutionalize trilateral security cooperation to contribute to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula, in the Indo-Pacific region, and beyond—including ​the first iteration of the new, multi-domain trilateral exercise, FREEDOM EDGE, this summer.

Secretary Austin also met together with counterparts and other senior defense leaders from Southeast Asia to discuss how the United States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are advancing regional peace and stability together.

On the margins of the Shangri-La Dialogue, Secretary Austin also met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to reiterate unwavering U.S. support for Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression.

Secretary Austin's Engagements on Tuesday, June 4

Following the Shangri-La Dialogue, Secretary Austin traveled to Phnom Penh to meet with senior Cambodian officials. While there, he met separately with Prime Minister Hun Manet, Minister of National Defence Tea Seiha, and President of the Senate Hun Sen. In their meetings, the officials discussed opportunities to strengthen the U.S.-Cambodia bilateral defense relationship in support of regional peace and security.

Secretary Austin's tenth trip to the Indo-Pacific came at a time when the Department of Defense is doing more than ever to strengthen U.S. relationships with allies and partners to advance regional peace, stability, and deterrence.