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Brazil: Def Sec Austin Warns Of China And Authoritarianism At Defence Summit


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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