U.S.-China divide looms as Asia security summit begins in Singapore

The U.S.-China divide and arms build-up in the Pacific region take center stage at the Shangri-La Dialogue, an international defense summit in Singapore.

Key players: U.S. and China are headlining the event.
* However, China refused to let its defense minister meet with U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the forum, dampening hopes of easing frictions between the two superpowers.

Regional alliances: Both the U.S. and China aim to strengthen partnerships with Asia-Pacific countries.
* Southeast Asian countries have participated in joint military drills with both the U.S. and China, but the U.S. has forged stronger defense ties with Indonesia and the Philippines recently.

Smaller nations’ concerns: The dialogue provides a platform for Southeast Asian countries to discuss foreign policy and regional issues.
* Topics include the situation in Myanmar, the South China Sea territorial claims, and Taiwan’s dominance in semiconductor manufacturing.

Global implications: The war in Ukraine is also on the agenda, despite being a hemisphere away.
* Most Southeast Asian countries have remained silent on Russia’s invasion, and Ukraine’s deputy defense chief is attending the summit in Singapore.

View original article on NPR

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