U.S Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin commences his Asia trip where he will meet with allies and hold key talks with the leaders to reflect on bilateral ties and foster ‘credible deterrence’ against China. The Pentagon ( headquarter buildings of the United States Department) officials stated that the US Defense secretary would visit India, South Korea, and Japan this week, making his first trip abroad as a senior member of the current Biden administration.
The Pentagon, in an official statement, said that Austin will meet his counterparts and other senior officials to discuss the importance of international defense relationships and reinforce the United States’ commitment to a free and open India-Pacific region that is founded on respect for international rules. As per the official release, Austin will travel to Hawaii on March 13th to visit the Pacific Command Headquarters and meet senior government officials and his counterparts in India, Japan, and The Republic of Korea.
US secretary of state Anthony Blinken will also join Lloyd Austin in Japan for the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee which will be hosted by Toshimitsu Motegi, Japan’s Foreign Minister and, Nobuo Kishi, Defense minister of Japan. Austin and Blinken will then travel to the Republic of Korea for the US-South Korean Foreign and Defense Ministerial to ensure the USA’s commitment to the stability of Korea.
On the last leg of his visit to meet Asian allies, Austin will meet his Indian counterpart, Rajnath Singh. The Pentagon asserted that in India, US Secretary will meet Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh and other senior security leaders to discuss deepening the Indo-US Major defense partnerships and advancing cooperation between the two countries for a free, prosperous, and open Indo-pacific region.