Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III speaks on the “Next Steps for the United States’ Indo-Pacific Strategy” at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, June 10, 2022.
Well, good morning everybody. It’s great to be back in Singapore. I was here In July of 2021 to give the double eye Fullerton lecture. So john I’m starting to feel like a regular but in all seriousness. Thanks for having me back. I also want to thank john for everything that does to promote dialogue in this region. And I want to thank our national host Singapore for providing such a warm welcome for all of us. It’s especially good to see Senior Minister Tayo Minister Ong and Minister Balakrishnan. Now, this is my first time to formally address a Shangri la dialogue as Secretary of defense and I’m glad to have the chance to discuss many of my government’s policies, but I’m also here to listen and to have some honest discussions. Now. The simple fact that this dialogue is back in person is absolutely encouraging. When I was here last year, my speech was one of the first public gatherings in Singapore as it was starting to reopen after the terrible early months of the pandemic. So going from one loan keynote to this bustling in person. Dialogue suggests the strides that this region has made. Now that’s a great tribute to Prime Minister lee in our hosts from Singapore and Singapore has also helped others around the world recover. It’s worked around the clock to produce lifesaving medical supplies, including test kits and ventilators and protective gear and the United States is deeply committed to getting the whole world past this pandemic since March of 2020. We have provided more than $19 billion dollars worldwide to produce and deliver vaccines and to spur global recovery. We’re proud to be the world’s single largest donor of vaccines And we’ve pledged to distribute more than 1.2 billion vaccine doses worldwide. Before this year is out, we’ve already distributed more than half a billion doses and we won’t let up. We’re deeply committed to helping this region hell recover and rebuild because that’s just what a friend does. And let’s face it, this pandemic has hit all of us where we live, it, upended all of our lives. It left tragedy and disruption in its way. But today we stand together at a moment that carries the promise of renewal and I hope that we’ll all come out of the pandemic with a broader perspective on what lasting security means In the 21st century. Now, the last time that I was in Singapore, the theme of my speech was the power of partnership. And so today I want to talk about what that has meant in action about how our partnerships have grown even stronger and about how we’ve moved together toward our shared vision for the region, The journey that we’ve made together in the past year only underscores a basic truth in today’s interwoven world. We’re stronger when we find ways to come together and as we do so we know that most countries across the indo pacific share a common vision in our people share common dreams over the past decade. Our allies and partners across the region have written core elements of this vision. Take Prime Minister Kishida who has called for quote, a free and open order based on the rule of law, not mike. And last month, at the first ever US Asian special Summit in Washington, the United States and our Asian partners declared our enduring commitment to the principles of quote an open, inclusive and rules base regional architecture and the quad leaders echoed that commitment at their own summit less than two weeks later. That means a shared belief in transparency. It also means a dedication to openness and accountability. It means a commitment to freedom of the seas, skies and space and it means an insistence that disputes be resolved peacefully. We seek a region free of aggression and bullying and we seek a world that respects territorial integrity and political independence, a world that expands human rights and human dignity in the world in which all countries large and small, are free to thrive and to lawfully pursue their interests free from coercion and intimidation. Now we know the riptides that we face from covid to cyber threats to nuclear proliferation. And we feel the headwinds from threats and intimidation and the obsolete belief in a world carved up into spheres and influence. Now we are confident that we can steer forward, but we can only do it together. We all know the challenges that this region faces the pandemic climate change nuclear threats from north Korea coercion by larger states against their smaller neighbors in cruelty and violence from the from the regime in Myanmar and threats in the gray zone. These challenges demand shared responsibility and common action. And we must all reaffirm, reaffirm our common commitment to uphold international law, defend global norms and oppose unilateral changes to the status quo. You know, just last month, President Biden was in the region to reaffirm that these principles matter. And he was also here to underscore the depth of American commitment to the security and the prosperity of the indo pacific. That commitment has grown over the years and it is now the core organizing principle of American national security policy. Today the indo pacific is our priority theater of operations. Today, the indo pacific is at the heart of American grand strategy and today senior American officials including the president, the vice president, the secretary of State, the national security adviser and so many others travel constantly in this region. And today, American statecraft is rooted in this reality. No region will do more to set the trajectory of the 21st century than this one. And so the indo pacific is our center of strategic gravity and that’s central to the Biden administration’s forthcoming national security strategy and to my Department’s national Defense strategy and it’s why the first regional strategy that the Biden administration released was our indo pacific strategy. As President Biden said in May in Tokyo. The United States is deeply invested in the indo pacific, We’re committed for the long haul. Ready to champion our vision for a positive future for the region with our friends and partners. You know that future will be written not by any one country but by all the peoples of the indo pacific. And I’m proud that our unparalleled network of alliances and partnerships has only deepened since the last time that I was in Singapore. We’ve achieved an extraordinary amount in the past 11 months and that progress is rooted in working together. You see it in the region’s effort to recover from the pandemic and you see it in the rapid development of the quad and in our new trilateral aucas security partnership. You see it in the launch of new climate resilience efforts with Asian and in our close partnership with pacific island countries. You see it in new opportunities for cooperation among Japan, the Republic of Korea and more and in renewed complex military exercises that deepen our interoperability and strengthen the region’s security, but not all the news in the past year has been good. So I’d like to take a few minutes to discuss the historic crisis caused by the Russian invasion of Ukraine Russia’s indefensible assault on a peaceful neighbor has galvanized the world and Putin’s reckless war of choice has reminded us all of the dangers of undercutting an international order rooted in rules and respect. So we’re meeting today at a moment of great consequence for the whole unit and not just for Europe President Biden has been clear about the stakes in the Ukraine crisis poses some urgent questions for us all do rules matter? Does sovereignty matter? Does the system that we have built together matter? I’m here because I believe that it does and I’m here because the rules based international order matters just as much in the indo pacific as it does in Europe. Now. Our friends and partners also know that and they understand that smaller countries have a right to peacefully resolve disputes with their larger neighbors. And that’s why Australia, Japan, new Zealand the Republic of Korea and others have rushed security assistance to Ukraine. And it’s why countries across this region have spread humanitarian aid to the to the suffering Ukrainian people, including vital contributions from Singapore, Thailand India and Vietnam. So let’s be clear, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is what happens when oppressors trample the rules that protect us all. It’s what happens when big powers decide that their imperial appetites matter more than the rights of their peaceful neighbors. And it’s a preview of a possible world of chaos and turmoil that none of us would want to live in. So we understand what we could lose. We see the dangers of disorder. So let’s use this moment to come together in common purpose. Let’s use this moment to strengthen the rules based international order. And let’s use this moment to think about the future that we all want. That’s really why I’m here today. The United States stands firmly beside our partners to ensure that we continue moving towards that shared vision and we will continue to do our part to strengthen security in the indo pacific, you know, more members of the U. S. Military are stationed here than in any other part of the world. More than 300,000 of our men and women. The president’s fiscal year 2023 budget Makes one of the largest investments in history to preserve this region’s security And that includes $6.1 billion Pacific Deterrence Initiative, which will strengthen multilateral information sharing and support training and experimentation with our partners. To stay at the cutting edge. We must invest in innovation across all domains including space and cyberspace. So we recently made the department’s largest ever budget request for research, research and development More than $130 billion. Meanwhile, we’re working hard to develop new capabilities that will allow us to deter aggression even more surely, including stealth aircraft, unmanned platforms and long range precision fires. And we’re on the cusp of delivering prototypes for high energy lasers that can counter missiles. And we’re developing integrated sensors that operate at the intersection of cyber e W. And radar communications. And so all of this helps us to do even even more to stand shoulder to shoulder with our friends, our security alliances and partnerships in the indo pacific are a profound source of stability. So our integrated deterrence in the region will continue to center on our ties with our proud treaty allies, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, South Korea and Thailand and we remain unwavering in our mutual defense commitments. At the same time we’re weaving, we’re also weaving closer ties with other partners and I’m especially thinking of India, the world’s largest democracy. We believe that its growing military capability and technological prowess can be a stabilizing force in the region. And we’re taking our defense cooperation with Singapore Indonesia and Vietnam to the next level in the past year. My belief in the strategic power of partnerships has only deepened and that’s at the heart of President Biden of the President’s indo pacific strategy. Our work together helps ensure that all countries in the region large and small have a say in its future. It helps ensure that the status quo can’t be disrupted in ways that harm all of our security and it helps strengthen our ability to find common solutions the common challenges. So I wanted to highlight three keyways in which we’ve been working together with our friends and partners over the past year and how that’s bringing us closer to our shared vision, shared vision for this region’s future. First we’re working with our partners and allies to ensure that they have the right capabilities to defend their interest and to deter aggression and to thrive on their own terms. Now as we invest in innovation in America we are committed to bringing our allies and partners along with us and that means sharing the fruits of our R. And D. Success. So we’re working with our friends to link our defense industrial base is to integrate our supply chains and even co produce some key technologies. Last year the department launched the rapid defense experimentation reserve to quickly get promising technology and prototypes into the hands of our war fighters. And we’re working even more closely with trusted partners as we test game to game changing technologies together. And that’s another reason why our new security partnership with Australia and the U. K. Is so important. Aucas won’t just deliver nuclear powered submarines. It holds a promise of progress across a range of emerging tech areas that can bolster our deterrence from ai to hypersonic emerging technology is crucial to prosperity. Also to maintain the region’s access to this sort of critical technology. We need to keep its supply chains secure. And that’s central to our new Indo Pacific Economic Framework which President Biden recently launched with 12 partners from across the region, including many partners here in Southeast Asia. Now, I’m also very proud of our progress with our partners this past year in a second important area and that area is exercises and training that expands our common readiness. It deepens our interoperability and it helps defend the principles that we share. So we stepped up the complexity, the jointness and the scale of our combined exercises with our allies and partners take our keen sword exercises with Japan which this year used existing and emerging capabilities in a far more integrated manner. Or take our talisman saber exercise with Australia, which was joined last time by Canada japan, new Zealand the UK and for the first time, the Republic of Korea in April the United States and the Philippines held our annual ballot catan exercise. It was our 37th time and the largest and most most complex iteration involving some 9000 troops. And last spring the USS Theodore Roosevelt carrier strike group rotated through the Indian ocean and we conducted simultaneous joint operations with the Indian navy and the Indian air force that integrated air power and anti-submarine warfare. We’re also finding new ways for our friends to operate together and looking for new constellations of partners including good friends from Europe and beyond. Just think of la peruse and exercise last spring with navies from Australia France, India and Japan or consider Garuda shield our annual bi bi lateral exercise with Indonesia. In this august for the first time we’re expanding it It will now include a total of 14 participating countries including Australia. Canada Japan and Singapore and later this month will host the 28th iteration of rimpac Forces from 26 countries With 38 ships and nearly 25,000 personnel will gather along US shore’s for the world’s largest naval exercise. Now we’re also working more closely with our partners in ways that aren’t quite so visible and that includes tackling gray zone actions that chip away at international laws and norms. And we’re bringing the full we’re bringing to bear the full resources of the US government to do so. And that includes unprecedented Coast Guard investments in the indo pacific. And I’m proud to say that the Coast Guard’s new outstanding commandant at Olinda Fagan is here with us in Singapore. And within her first two weeks on the job that I might add, you know, it’s the first time that a U. S. Coast Guard commandant has joined us at the Shangri La dialogue and it’s a sign of how important Southeast Asia is to the Coast Guard. Next year, our Coast Guard will also deploy a cutter to Southeast Asia and Oceana. And that will open up new opportunities for multinational crewing training and cooperation across the region. And it will be the first major U. S. Coast Guard cutter permanently stationed in the region. And that brings me to a third important aspect of our common efforts to defend our shared principles more and more. We’re working in new and flexible and custom made ways with our friends and our partners are doing the same thing with one another. Even as we strengthen our commitment to Asian centrality and its leading place in the regional architecture and that’s meant the rise of nimble and flexible security networks that adds stability to the region. You see this trend in new, important, important new discussions about regional security with different groups of partners, talking together about shared challenges and working together in new ways. Since 2015, Australia, India and Japan have been holding security dialogues about maritime security cooperation. In just the past few months, Japan and the Philippines launched a new 2-plus 2 dialogue and so did Australia and India. Our trilateral defense cooperation with Australia and Japan remains pivotal and we continue to integrate our three militaries in key areas. I was also glad to attend the A. D. M. M. Plus last year and I look forward to meeting with Asian defense Ministers again this fall and meanwhile Over the past 18 months we’ve helped to bring new vigor to the quad. That includes a third quad Leaders Summit last month bringing together four other regions largest largest producers of prosperity and security. And as the quad leaders have noted, they are eager to work with Asian and the pacific islands to advance our shared goals. We’re also working together to make the region’s security architecture more transparent and more inclusive. So think of the new indo pacific partnership for maritime domain awareness which President Biden announced in Tokyo last month. Now this important initiative aims to provide better access to space based and maritime domain awareness. Two countries across the region, including here in Southeast Asia. And this new partnership will harness together regional information centers that will help us build a common operating picture and work together to tackle illegal fishing and other gray zone activities in today’s interconnected world. We’re also seeing new ways to support our European security partners growing engagement in the indo pacific. So we’ll keep expanding our consultations with European countries on regional security issues. It will deepen and widen the dialogue and corporation among NATO and our core indo pacific allies. You know, several of our European allies have been deploying to the indo pacific and operating alongside our partners here in unprecedented ways. United Kingdom made history last year with this deployment of the HMS Queen Elizabeth as part of a multinational carrier strike group that included a US destroyer, An American Marine Corps F 35 Squadron. And so it was a significant accomplishment. Such deployments send a message of strength and stability and that’s deeply important for all the peoples of the region. And it’s especially important given the challenges to security and stability in the indo pacific as our national Security National Defense Strategy notes, we all face a persistent threat from North Korea. United States will stand ready, always stand ready to deter aggression and to uphold our treaty commitments to the and and the will of the U. N. Security Council. North Korea’s habitual provocations and missile tests only underscore the urgency of our task. And so we’re deepening the security corporation among the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea. Together, we will continue to strengthen our extended deterrence against nuclear arms and ballistic missile systems. And we remain open to future diplomacy and fully prepared to deter and to and to defeat future aggression will also stand by our friends as they uphold their rights. And that’s especially important as a P. R. C. Adopts a more coercive an aggressive approach to its territorial claims. In the east china sea. The PRC is expanding fishing fleet is sparking tensions with his neighbors in the south china sea. The PRC is using outpost on manmade islands bristling with advanced weaponry to advance. It’s illegal maritime claims. We’re seeing PRC vessels plunder the region’s provisions operating illegally within the territorial waters of other indo pacific indo pacific countries. And further to the west, we see Beijing continue to harden its position along the border that it shares with India. You know, indo pacific countries shouldn’t face political intimidation, economic coercion or harassment by maritime militias. So the Department of Defense will maintain our active presence across the indo pacific We will continue to support the 2016 Arbitral Tribunal ruling and we will fly sail and operate wherever international law allows and we’ll do this right alongside our partners and will continue to be candid about the challenges that we all face. We’ve seen an alarming increase in the number of unsafe aerial intercepts and confrontations at sea by Pl Pl aircraft and vessels in February. A pla navy ship directed a laser and an Australian P eight maritime patrol aircraft, seriously endangering everyone on board. And in the past few weeks, fighters have conducted a series of dangerous intercepts of allied aircraft operating lawfully in the east china and south china seas. Now this should worry us all and the stakes are especially stark in the Taiwan strait. Our policy is unchanged and unwavering. It has been consistent across administrations and we are determined to uphold the status quo that has served this region so well for so long. So let me be clear, We remain firmly committed to our long standing one China policy guided by the Taiwan relations Act, The three joint communiques and the six assurances. We categorically oppose any unilateral changes to the status quo from either side and we do not support Taiwan independence and we stand firmly behind the principle that cross strait differences must be resolved by peaceful means. Now, as a part of our one china policy, we will continue to fulfill our commitments under the Taiwan Relations Act and that includes assisting Taiwan and maintaining a sufficient self-defense capability. And it means maintaining our own capacity to resist any use of force or other forms of coercion that would jeopardize the security or the social or economic system of the people of Taiwan. So our policy hasn’t changed. But unfortunately that doesn’t seem to be true for the P. R. C. As my friend Secretary of State Blinken has also noted, we see growing coercion from Beijing. We’ve witnessed a steady increase in provocative and destabilizing military activity near Taiwan and that includes aircraft flying near Taiwan in record numbers in recent months and nearly on a daily basis. And we remain focused on maintaining peace stability and the status quo across across the Taiwan strait. But the P. R. C. S. Moves threatened to undermine security and stability and prosperity in the indo pacific and that’s crucial for this region and it’s crucial for the wider world maintaining peace and stability across the Taiwan strait isn’t just a U. S. Interest, it’s a matter of matter of international concern. So let me be clear we do not seek confrontation or conflict and we do not seek a new Cold war. An Asian NATO or a region split into hostile blocs. We will defend our interests without flinching but we’ll also work toward our vision and for this region one of expanding security one of increased uh cooperation and not one of growing division. And I continue to believe that big powers carry big responsibilities and so we will do our part to manage these tensions responsibly and to prevent conflict and to pursue peace and prosperity. And as I said in Singapore last year great powers should be models of transparency and communication. So we’re working closely with both our competitors and our friends to strengthen the guardrails against conflict. And that includes fully open lines of communication with China’s defense leaders to ensure that we can avoid any miscalculations. And these are deeply, deeply important conversations. The United States is fully committed to during our part and that’s why I’m here today. I am proud of our commitment to this region. I’m proud of our unmatched and unrivaled network of allies and partners. I’m proud of our commitment to openness and human dignity. You know, in recent decades, we become even more inclusive in our approach to the indo pacific We’ve expanded our cooperation with our allies and partners and we’ve worked in tandem with new and existing regional institutions and all of that builds new habits of cooperation across this region and it builds on old friendships in the indo pacific. Going back for many, many decades, we seek inclusion not division. We seek cooperation and not strife and that means we’re following the wise counsel from Prime Minister Lee who argues that nobody should force binary choices on the region. He’s right. Our fellow indo pacific nations should be free to choose free to prosper and free to chart their own course. Ladies and gentlemen, this region has already cast its vote on what kind of a future it seeks. It’s an interconnected and optimistic future. One rooted in the rule of law and a profound commitment to freedom and openness and it’s a future that we can only make real by working together As President Kennedy put it back in 1962. Okay, acting on our own by ourselves. We cannot establish justice throughout the world or provide for his common defense or promote its general welfare. But join with other free nations, we can do all this and more and ultimately we can help to achieve a world of law and of free choice. Banishing the world of war and coercion. Now, that’s a vision worth working for. It’s a vision grounded in the best traditions of the United States and it’s a vision that reaches for the highest aspirations for the indo pacific. We don’t believe that this vision can be imposed, but we do believe that it can be achieved by working together by listening to one another and by acting as good friends and good neighbors and by again showing the world the power of partnership. It’s great to be here with all of you. Thank you very much. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Thank you very much. Mr. Secretary. That’s one of the strongest statements we’ve heard from this podium. A clear declaration that American strategy is rooted in the indo pacific which is the center of gravity of its strategic effort. A specific assertion that sharing the fruits of your R and D. Success with allies and partners and testing game changing technologies with each other is an important priority. And I think everybody will have taken note also of your concluding remarks that no country should be forced to make binary choices. Thank you very much for that. And all the other things that were in your remarks, I have a number of people who have asked the floor and I’ll turn to them in a group shortly. I just want to ask the secretary one question before I go back to the floor. So we deal with that other issue in the world that is now occupying so many people’s minds. Secretary, often when you were in centcom, one of your big duties was to ensure the straits of Hormuz would be open so that oil could flow through it. And indeed often it was argued that America’s Middle East strategy was linked to its indo pacific strategy because without being able to keep the straits of hormones open agents wouldn’t be able to benefit from the oil that was produced and sold from there. Now in the Black Sea, you have 22 million tons of grains, many of which will be going to countries in this region or should be going for example, to Indonesia. And as a consequence of the war, the Black Sea is effectively closed. There are many efforts of negotiation with Russia and Ukraine and others to seek a way to opening that. But given that that’s such an important humanitarian necessity. Can you envision a role for navies in the military to support the humanitarian effort to ensure that humanitarian traffic grains can flow from the ports in the Black Sea to other places in the world? Well, let me just say that this is a very important issue and one that leaders in the region and across the globe are focused on um when you ask whether or not the our militaries of the region and the world can add value of course we can. But you know, we would always want to seek a diplomatic solution first and I see a lot of energy in that in that area ongoing as we speak. And we would hope that uh that the right things happen, you know, But this, this didn’t have to happen. We are here because of the choice of one man, the choice of Vladimir Putin, he chose to invade his neighbor unprovoked invasion. This was not based on any kind of um any kind of logic or reason and we see the consequences of of actions like that. And so I think that’s uh that reminds us of how important the rules based international order is. Alternative four take three or four in a group first from the Republic of Korea. Uh chung min lee, thank you Mr. Secretary, my question to you is as we speak Russian and Chinese bombers are intruding into Korean and Japanese air defense identification zones. And as a result, one of the reasons why at the end of this month, at the Madrid summit, the leaders of Korea japan Australia and new Zealand will be participating in need of something for the first time. What can your close allies do here in the region to augment European security and vice versa. Thank you very much. I didn’t hear the end of that. What could we do to my question was what can your four closest allies during the region to augment European security? Because the leaders of Korea, Japan Australia and new Zealand will be participating in the NATO summit in Madrid this June. Well I mean there’s first of all um countries from this region, as you heard me say earlier, have been very supportive of the effort uh in in Europe thus far they’ve provided uh a number of countries have provided security assistance and in other countries have provided humanitarian assistance and and this is very very important. You’ve seen me pull together ministers of defense from across the globe quite frankly, to focus on uh huh those things that we can do to continue to help Ukraine as it struggles to to defend its sovereign territory and I say struggle. But but quite frankly we’re all proud of the work that the Ukrainians have done. Uh they are absolutely inspiring in terms of uh their their commitment to their democracy, their will to defend their land. Uh and I think there’s a great lessons to be learned from uh from from that for all of us in terms of their commitment. But but again, I will host another one of those meetings Uh in about a week as I go to Brussels. Uh we started out with 40 countries contributing uh capability. Uh it grew the next meeting to 47 countries and now it’s over 50 countries. Uh and that shows you how how much uh the global community cares about uh about this issue and how much uh countries around the world want want to help Ukraine in its in its effort to defend its sovereign territory. Thanks very much. And next from the U. S. Bonnie Glaser, if you can put up your hand as well, it looks like your microphone is working. Go ahead Bonnie thank you. Secretary Austin. Um The most dangerous potential conflict in the indo pacific is a war in the Taiwan strait that would arise from a Chinese attempt to seize Taiwan by force. And President Biden has recently said repeated actually that he would defend Taiwan if attacked. What are the steps that the United States, our allies and Taiwan need to take to bolster deterrence so that peace and stability in the Taiwan strait can be preserved. Thank you. Thanks barney. Um First of all you’ve heard me say and heard number of a number of our leaders, senior leaders say that uh we think that any unilateral change to the status quo uh is would be unwelcome and and ill advised. I would just highlight that our policy on Taiwan has not changed. We remain committed to one china policy. Uh and uh and we also remain committed to uh providing Taiwan with the military means to defend, defend itself in accordance with the Taiwan Relations Act. Uh And so I know that countries across the region and across the globe are really focused on this issue. But I really, as I said in uh in my in my remarks there really wanna highlight that our Taiwan policy has not changed and from the Philippines again, put your hand up, Jeffrey or Danielle, but it looks like your microphone is working. So go ahead. Uh thank you for the opportunity. Um when china started building artificial islands in the south China Sea, the United States said that there would be consequences. China completed those artificial islands. Um The United States also said that there would be consequences if china militarized those islands, China militarized those islands anyway. Stationing bombers and fighter jets. So I guess many of us here are curious what will be different in the Biden administration’s approach to the south china sea because it seems that the current policy is not working or at least not changing the behavior of china. Thank you. Yes. So some of the consequences that we’ve seen is that we’ve seen allies and partners grow closer together and work together in a more deliberate way on to make sure that they they have the ability to protect their interests at our territorial waters. And I see and we’ve seen again in the last couple of years bonds continue to strengthen. We’ve also seen, you know, like minded countries bond together to, to create new capabilities. So the effect has been that, that it’s had an effect that there are some consequences and those consequences are much more united uh um region, region has focused ever so much more on on a vision of free and indo and free and open indo, pacific. So, so I think I think there have been consequences. And next from Singapore, Lynn, go ahead. Thank thank you, john, thank you. Secretary Austin. Um yesterday Prime Minister Kishida cautioned that Ukraine today, maybe East Asia tomorrow. Do you share the Japanese Prime Minister’s concern? And if so, why would it be because of a general sense that Ukraine reminds us that war anywhere is possible and we should not be complacent or perhaps because um the United States has concrete concerns. That China is like Russia because both autocracies and will therefore act like it. I would say, I would think it’s the former that, you know, anything is possible. And so, I mean, there’s a reason that we have the, you know, militaries to to defend our sovereign territory. Uh and so we need to be mindful of the fact that those uh, those militaries, our defenses need need the right kinds of capabilities. Um, I go back to what I, the questions that I asked earlier do rules matter, The sovereignty matter. You know, is this rules based international order important to us? I think the answer to that question is yes. I think it’s it’s been remarkable to see the global response as a result of Russia’s uh unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. Uh there’s strong indication across this globe around this globe that that countries around the globe truly value the international rules based order and adherence to that order. So I think there’s a there’s a powerful lesson there from Stefan. Got the last question. Thank you. John Mr. Secretary, you mentioned game changing technologies in your speech. Could you perhaps elaborate what technology specifically you have in mind here? And furthermore, do you foresee any changes in U. S. Force posture in the region as a result of these game changing technologies in the near to medium term? Thank you. Thanks Ron Stefan. No, I won’t go into any detail on on emerging technologies only to say that, you know, we continue to invest A substantial amount of our our budget, our defense budget, you heard me say $130 $230 billion dollars um dedicated to uh R. D. T. And research and development. Uh we uh we believe that in order to remain relevant we have to make sure that we’re investing in the right kinds of things to support the operational concepts that we think are important in any conflict that will employ in any conflict going forward. I would just say that it’s important for us to continue to work with our allies and partners as we develop these technologies. Uh and you heard me commit to doing that in my remarks and were serious about that. And so but I don’t I want to elaborate on any of the specific technologies in this forum. So we’ve closed this session according to our clock with two seconds remaining. I want to thank you very much, Secretary Austin and also to say that we should actually draw comfort from the fact that you can’t say very much about the emerging technologies that you might be saying with allies and partners because it implies those technologies will be extremely valuable to their security and to maintaining peace and stability. In the Asia pacific, I’ve got 33 people on the list, a couple of people still waving their hands, but it’s inevitable in a session like this, especially with the U. S. Secretary of Defense. There will be more questions than time available to answer them. Be reassured that I will find you for the next session. But for the meantime, please thank Secretary often uh for his plenary address to the Shangri la dialogue. Thank you very much. Mhm