Australia’s new defence minister flies to Singapore

By Melissa Coade

June 10, 2022

Richard Marles
Defence minister Richard Marles is in Singapore for the International Institute for Strategic Studies’ 19th Shangri-La Dialogue. (AAP Image/James Ross)

Richard Marles is in Singapore to meet with regional counterparts from more than 30 nations at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) 19th Shangri-La Dialogue

This will be the first overseas engagement for Australia’s new defence minister and deputy PM following Labor’s election win last month. He will be accompanied by Australia’s defence secretary, Greg Moriarty, and CDF General Angus Campbell.

In a statement, Marles said the Shangri-La Dialogue was an opportunity to discuss the ‘complex’ security challenges of the Indo-Pacific region. 

“The Indo-Pacific is in the midst of the most consequential strategic alignment of our time,” he said. 

“I welcome the role this dialogue plays in shaping robust conversation on strategic challenges and regional security dynamics.”

Top defence officials from the US and China will also attend the dialogue event. Chinese state councillor and defence minister Wei Fenghe has been in Singapore ahead of the dialogue since Wednesday. 

The 10-12 June meeting, which aims to engage defence ministers in a regional security dialogue in the Indo-Pacific, had been planned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is the largest such meeting of high-level international representatives. 

Marles will also use his trip to attend the 10th Australia-Japan-United States Trilateral Defense Ministers’ Meeting with Japanese counterpart Kishi Nobuo and US counterpart Lloyd Austin.

The defence minister said Australia was committed to working with partners to promote the shared regional interests of a ‘peaceful, inclusive and resilient Indo-Pacific’. 

“I look forward to sharing Australia’s strategic outlook at the Dialogue, and outlining our regional priorities,” Marles said.


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