Austin Reaffirms United States Commitment to Indo-Pacific

( – The United States is a vital part of the future of the Indo-Pacific region, and Lloyd Austin, the Defense Secretary, has said that their future is more “vital than ever” to the United States. Austin spoke at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore where he discussed Washington’s role in the region and what its continued support would mean.

“We are all in. No, we’re not going anywhere,” he said. He said that the United States and the Indo-Pacific are “more secure, and more prosperous when we work together.” He also stated that the region was seeing a “new convergence” around security in the Indo-Pacific.

Austin described “new convergence” as a set of overlapping and complementary initiatives and institutions that are shared between the two parties.

“This new convergence is about coming together and not splitting apart. It isn’t about imposing one country’s will. It isn’t about bullying or coercion. It’s about the free choices of sovereign states,” Austin said. He continued, “It’s about notions of goodwill, uniting around the interests that we share and the values that we cherish.”

Some of these values included respect for sovereignty and international law, as well as freedom of sea and skies, and “the peaceful resolution of disputes through dialogue, and not coercion or conflict. And certainly not through so-called punishment.”

Austin didn’t mention anything specific about China in his conversation, but this has been a huge issue that’s been looming over the United States. The “punishment” drills put on by China toward Taiwan are most likely what he was referencing, but the conflict here hasn’t been fully solved.

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