In Brief: Much in common among all-women panellists

French Armed Services Minister Sylvie Goulard.
From left: Congressman Seth Moulton; Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy; Congressman Austin Scott; Congressman Bradley Byrne; Senator John Barrasso; Senator Christopher Coons; Mr Lee Hsien Loong; Congressman Mac Thornberry; Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo; Congressman Salud Carbajal and Congressman Mike Gallagher. PHOTO: MFA
Australian defence chief Marise Payne. Ms Tomomi Inada, Japan's Minister of Defence. From left: Congressman Seth Moulton; Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy; Congressman Austin Scott; Congressman Bradley Byrne; Senator John Barrasso; Senator Christopher
French Armed Services Minister Sylvie Goulard.PHOTO: MFA
Australian defence chief Marise Payne. Ms Tomomi Inada, Japan's Minister of Defence. From left: Congressman Seth Moulton; Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy; Congressman Austin Scott; Congressman Bradley Byrne; Senator John Barrasso; Senator Christopher
Ms Tomomi Inada, Japan's Minister of Defence.PHOTO: MFA
Australian defence chief Marise Payne. Ms Tomomi Inada, Japan's Minister of Defence. From left: Congressman Seth Moulton; Congresswoman Stephanie Murphy; Congressman Austin Scott; Congressman Bradley Byrne; Senator John Barrasso; Senator Christopher
Australian defence chief Marise Payne.PHOTO: MFA

Much in common among all-women panellists

Japan's Defence Minister Tomomi Inada kicked off her speech yesterday with an observation that probably had not escaped her mostly male audience:

All three panellists in the second plenary session at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue are women.

Besides Ms Inada, Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne and France's Minister of the Armed Services Sylvie Goulard also took to the stage to speak on upholding the rules-based regional order.

All three are newcomers to the annual security summit.

The Japanese minister was appointed last August while Ms Goulard is less than a month into her job in the administration of France's new President Emmanuel Macron. Ms Payne became her country's first female defence chief in September 2015.

The ministers have more in common, said Ms Inada at the start of her speech yesterday.

"We share the same interests and we are all good looking," she said, to laughter around the Shangri-La Hotel ballroom.

LEE SEOK HWAI


US legislators meet PM Lee; affirm close ties

A group of US legislators who are in town to attend the Shangri-La Dialogue called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday.

The delegation included the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry and seven other committee members: congressmen Bradley Byrne, Austin Scott, Mike Gallagher, Madeleine Bordallo, Seth Moulton, Stephanie Murphy and Salud Carbajal. Also in the group were two senators: Mr John Barrasso, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, and Mr Christopher Coons.

During the call, both sides affirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations between Singapore and the US, which includes strong and long-standing economic, defence, security and people-to-people ties, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

PM Lee and the congressmen also exchanged views on regional and international developments, and PM Lee welcomed the commitment they expressed to the US' sustained engagement in the Asia-Pacific region.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 04, 2017, with the headline 'In Brief'. Print Edition | Subscribe