US-China competition to loom over key defence gathering

Beijing dispatches top military brass to Singapore to deliver ‘highly anticipated’ speech at annual Shangri-La Dialogue.

Published by Al Jazeera English, May 31, 2019.

By Tom Benner

Singapore – Growing competition and ratcheting hostilities between the United States and China promise to dominate a key Asian security summit this weekend, with Beijing sending a high-ranking general for the first time in almost a decade to meet defence counterparts from countries across Asia and around the world.

Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe is expected to hold talks with acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan on the sidelines the Shangri-La Dialogue, while both are separately scheduled to deliver major addresses to the three-day meeting.

Launched in 2002 and held each year at Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel, the summit is Asia’s largest annual defence and security gathering. It seeks to promote bilateral dialogue among sometimes hostile adversaries, and is traditionally attended by delegates from Asia Pacific nations as well as the US and other countries.

Wei will lead the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) delegation, a break from the past when lower level Chinese military officials routinely attended the summit, organised by the UK-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) think-tank. Continue reading …

One response to “US-China competition to loom over key defence gathering

  1. Nice job on this, Tom. Somewhere, Walt Herring is smiling over the phrase “tit-for-tat tariffs” …

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