Chairman of the Military Committee discusses Security with Asian counterparts during the Shangri-La Dialogue
The Chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, General Knud Bartels attended the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Asia Security Summit "The Shangri-La Dialogue 2014" in Singapore from 30 May - 1 June 2014. During the Summit, General Bartels met with military leaders from the Asia-Pacific region including partners and Allies to exchange views on areas of common interest and cooperation.
The Shangri-La Dialogue is one of the most important regular gatherings of defence ministers, military chiefs and security policy professionals in the Asia-Pacific region aimed at building confidence and fostering practical security cooperation.
In the meeting with Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Chinese’s People’s Liberation Army, General Bartels explained NATO’s view of Russia's aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation by military power of Crimea, stating: “Major powers, especially permanent members of the UN security Council, have a particular responsibility to follow international law and norms". The Chairman emphasised that NATO's engagement in Asia is "about working with partners, who are interested in cooperating with us on issues of common concern. This is about NATO with Asia, not NATO in Asia.” General Bartels concluded the meeting with the Chinese delegation reaffirming the good cooperation between NATO and China which includes academic exchange and high level staff talks.
General Bartels also took the opportunity to meet with General Shigeru Iwasaki, the Japanese Chief of Staff of the Joint Staff where NATO’s strong partnership with Japan was reaffirmed.
During meetings with Lieutenant General Keating, Chief of New Zealand's Defence force, Lieutenant General Ng Chee Meng, the Singaporean Chief of the Defence Force and the Australian Vice Chief of Defence Air Marshal Binskin, ways of cooperation were explored. With partner nations New Zealand and Australia, who both provide military forces to NATO-led operations in Afghanistan and off the Horn of Africa, the discussions covered ways and means of maintaining cooperation, interoperability and connectivity in the short to medium term.
"It is important for NATO to be present at such events as the Shangri-La Dialogue to explain the NATO agenda and to meet with partners and Allies in a region where dynamics in the security architecture implicitly affect NATO and its interests", General Bartels concluded at the end of the security summit.