Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 29, 2013 15:55 ET

Minister MacKay to Travel to Speak at Asia Security Summit in Singapore and to Hold Bilateral Meetings in China

SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE--(Marketwired - May 29, 2013) - The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, will be traveling to the Asia-Pacific region, where he will participate in a number of high-level events and bilateral meetings with partners in Singapore and China, over his five-day visit beginning on May 30th.

During the first leg of the trip, Minister MacKay, accompanied by General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, will participate in the 12th annual International Institute for Strategic Studies' Asia Security Summit. This Summit is the Asia-Pacific region's premiere security forum.

"Canada is committed to its growing partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)," said Minister MacKay. "As an Asia-Pacific country, Canada has a long history of engagement in the region, and we have been working hard over the last few years to deepen our relationships and contribute more to the security and prosperity of Southeast Asia. Our bilateral and multilateral activities demonstrate Canada's commitment to the region, as do our important economic, political and security interests, which demonstrate that our security is intrinsically linked to the stability of the Asia-Pacific region."

Minister MacKay will then travel to China, where he will be the first Canadian Minister of Defence to visit in the last 10 years and the first Western Defence leader to meet with the new Chinese Minister of National Defence, General Chang Wanquan.

Canada's engagement in the Asia-Pacific region is longstanding and has been growing. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have participated in numerous multilateral exercises with Asia-Pacific partners, such as Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), which is the world's largest international maritime exercise. The CAF have also sent observers to Exercise Cobra Gold 2013, which is the largest multi-national exercise in Asia - Pacific, involving up to 13,000 participants, as well as the Disaster Relief Exercise, which is a biennial humanitarian and disaster relief exercise involving 20 ASEAN member and dialogue nations. In addition, Canada was invited to send a member of the Royal Canadian Navy to Singapore's Information Fusion Centre, with the goal of exploring further opportunities for marine interoperability with Asia-Pacific partners.

The Royal Canadian Navy is also planning a five-month deployment (WESTPLOY) of Her Majesty's Canadian Ship Protector and Algonquin in Asia-Pacific including participation in the Australian International Fleet Review and follow on visits to several Asia Pacific countries. The goal of WESTPLOY is to build strong bilateral and multilateral ties between the Canadian Navy and the navies of Asia-Pacific countries, and to promote peace and security in the region.

Minister MacKay's visit highlights the growing importance of Canada's relationships in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as Canada's continued security and defence engagement with regional partners.

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