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Shangri-La Dialogue: Southeast Asia ‘acutely concerned’ about US-China rivalry

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Shangri-La Dialogue: Southeast Asian leaders ‘acutely concerned’ about US-China rivalry

Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen called for the two world powers to keep communication channels – both formal and informal – openSoutheast Asian leaders maintain they would not take sides amid the US-China rivalry as many depend on Beijing for trade and have security ties with WashingtonSingaporeDewey Simin SingaporeandSu-Lin Tanin SingaporePublished: 4:36pm, 4 Jun, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Southeast Asian leaders have urged Beijing and Washington to repair ties and called for communication between the two sides to resume, saying that the region was “acutely concerned” they would be forced to take sides if US-China relations worsened.Singapore’s Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, speaking at a panel discussion at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday, called for the two powers to keep communication channels – both formal and informal – open.Ties between the United States and China have deteriorated significantly, with most bilateral interactions halted after then US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan last August.The three-day security conference in Singapore had been touted as an opportunity for the defence leaders of both countries to meet and thaw frosty ties but China declined a request for a face-to-face meeting over Washington’s refusal to lift the sanctions on Chinese Defence Chief Li Shangfu.

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