The 11th IISS Asia Security Summit, otherwise known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, has begun today in Singapore and will last three days until Sunday. The dialogue is known to be the key regional forum for discussing important defense and security issues in the Asia-Pacific region. Defense ministers and senior officials from over 27 countries, including the US, Canada, China, Japan and India are expected to attend event.
Some of the topics which will be covered at the dialogue include protecting maritime freedoms, China, regional stability and cyber warfare. Other sensitive issues, such as tensions between China and Taiwan, between North and South Korea, or the recent dispute between China and Philippines over Scarborough Shoal may also be brought up.
China has voiced out its concerns over the US’s presence at the dialogue, saying that it hopes that it will respect China’s interests and concerns in the region. There have been media reports saying that the US intends to discuss the matter of the South China Sea disputes, although this is not confirmed.
US Senators Joseph Lieberman and John McCain will be leading a Congressional Delegation here, with US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta making his first appearance at the dialogue on Saturday. Mr. Panetta is expected to make a major policy speech on the topic “The US Rebalance Towards the Asia-Pacific”.
Report: China factor to dominate top defense summit [BBC, 1 June 2012]
Report: President Yudhoyono to deliver keynote address at Asia Security Summit [Channel NewsAsia, 1 June 2012]
Report: Beijing defends interest [China Daily, 1 June 2012]