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US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin III has delivered remarks at the 15th Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas in Brazil.

  • Austin: "Now, we’re gathered here as ministers of defense. And we’re all facing an increasingly complex and rapidly evolving security environment. We’re fortunate to live as neighbors in a hemisphere of peace, but we must still be candid about our common challenges."
  • Austin continued: "...autocratic powers are working to undermine the stable, open, rules-based international order in our region. That includes efforts by the People’s Republic of China to gain regional influence."
  • Chinese state run news service the Global Times carried comments from the Chinese embassy in Brazil yesterday which preempted Austin's remarks: "China firmly opposes the latest claim by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Conference of Defense Ministers of the Americas blatantly labelling China a “threat”, which was full of cold war mentality and ideological bias."
  • Austin also addressed concerns that the Brazilian military may be dispatched to influence the result of the Brazilian general election after President Jair Bolsonaroformally launched his re-election bid this week, saying in a speech: "The army is on our side. It's an army that doesn't accept corruption, doesn't accept fraud. This is an army that wants transparency."
  • Daniel Carvalho at Bloomberg: "Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the military must be under the control of civilians during a conference in Brasilia. President Jair Bolsonaro has expressed his desire to have the armed forces “overseeing” October’s election."

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