US' Austin, Blinken to go on anti-China foreign trips

TEHRAN, Mar. 11 (MNA) – As Washington seeks to intensify pressure on China, the US secretaries of state and defense will travel to Japan, South Korea, Hawaii and India to discuss ties with allies.

The US Defense Department, in a statement on Wednesday, announced that Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin will embark on his first overseas trip Saturday, March 13, to visit US Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters in Hawaii, US troops and senior government leaders in Japan and the Republic of Korea, and senior government leaders in India.

Secretary Austin will meet with his counterparts and other senior officials to discuss what the statement called “the importance of international defense relationships, and reinforce the United States’ commitment to a free and open Indo-Pacific region – founded on respect for international rules, laws, and norms.”

Austin will visit US Indo-Pacific Command Headquarters in Hawaii to meet with US troops and senior commanders and highlight his vision for the Indo-Pacific region as a priority theater for the Department.

In Japan, Austin will join Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, for the US-Japan Security Consultative Committee (“2+2”), hosted by Japan’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Toshimitsu Motegi and Minister of Defense Nobuo Kishi, to emphasize the US-Japan alliance over Indo-Pacific in the face of long-term competition with China.

“In the Republic of Korea, Austin and Blinken will attend a US-ROK Foreign and Defense Ministerial (“2+2”), hosted by the ROK’s Foreign Minister Chung Eui-yong and Minister of Defense Suh Wook, to reaffirm the United States’ ironclad commitment to the security of the Republic of Korea, and emphasize that the US – ROK alliance remains  a linchpin of peace, security, and prosperity in Northeast Asia, a free and open Indo-Pacific, and around the world,” the statement claims.

In India, Secretary Austin will meet with his counterpart, Minister of Defense Rajnath Singh, and other senior national security leaders to discuss deepening the US-India Major Defense Partnership and advancing cooperation between our countries over Indo-Pacific and Western Indian Ocean Region, the statement added.

MR/PR/FNA13991220000778

News Code 170954

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