Chair of the NATO Military Committee attends the Shangri-La Dialogue
From 9 to 12 June 2022, Admiral Rob Bauer, Chair of the NATO Military Committee participated in the Shangri La Dialogue, Asia’s premier defence summit, in Singapore. While attending the Dialogue, Admiral Bauer met with senior political and military officials from China, the United States, Germany, Australia, New Zealand and Singapore.
While at the Dialogue, Admiral Bauer met with Lieutenant General Zhang Zhenzhong, the Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. The Chair expressed the Alliance’s concern with the Chinese government’s stance on the illegal invasion of Ukraine. Admiral Bauer stressed the importance of continued dialogue and military transparency: “The military-to-military dialogue is crucial to prevent misunderstandings, miscalculations and misconceptions”. Admiral Bauer stated that NATO and China’s military dialogue has been regular since 2010, but has been suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NATO is very much looking forward to the resumption of the mil-to-mil talks, in the fall in Brussels.
Admiral Bauer subsequently met with Admiral John Aquilino, Commander of the United States Indo-Pacific Command. The Admirals discussed the importance of freedom of navigation and the effects regional security challenges are having on the global stage.
Meeting Mr. Benedikt Zimmer, Germany’s Defence State Secretary, Admiral Bauer discussed the role of the defence industry in the Alliance’ task to deter and defend, as well as the upcoming decision on NATO’s long term posture during the Madrid Summit.
Admiral Bauer also held meetings with two of NATO’s Asia Pacific partners, Australia and New Zealand. The Australian delegation consisted of the Honourable Richard Marles MP, the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia and Minister for Defence, Mr. Greg Moriarty, the Secretary of the Department of Defence and General Angus J. Campbell, Chief of the Australian Defence Force. Discussions focused on Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, the changed global security environment, shared security concerns, and the commitment to defend them. Admiral Bauer stated: “Australia can seem a long way from Europe. But we are on the same side when it comes to the values we hold.”
Discussions with the Honourable Mr. Peeni, New Zealand’s Minster of Defence, Mr. Andrew Bridgman, Secretary of Defence and Air Marshal Kevin Short, Chief of the New Zealand Defence Force centered on maintaining security around global commons; sea lanes, transport routes, communication systems, energy supplies, as well as emerging security challenges that require a collective response.
Admiral Rob Bauer met with Lieutenant General Melvyn Ong, Chief of the Singaporean Defence Force and Brigadier General Lee Yi-Jin, Military Intelligence Director. The Chair informed them on NATO’s strengthened defence and deterrence posture and NATO’s forthcoming Summit. Lieutenant General Melvyn Ong provided insight on the regional security challenges and the role Singapore plays, based on its twin pillar defence policy of deterrence and diplomacy.