Asia’s top security summit, which began on Friday, will serve as a platform for some highly crucial global issues like the intense competition between the United States and China, covert military negotiations, and delicate diplomacy, during the weekend of high-level speeches.
From June 2 to 4, Singapore will host the Shangri-La Dialogue, which brings together senior military officers, diplomats, weapons manufacturers and security analysts from all around the world.
The keynote speech will be given by the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on Friday night, followed by addresses over the weekend from the defence ministers of China and the United States.
The heat between US and China has grown even more in recent years after issues like Taiwan’s sovereignty, cyber espionage, and territorial disputes in the South China Sea created more tensions, which saw the relation between the two countries dipping to its lowest point in decades.
Until last week a ray of hope still existed that the relations between the two might improve, however, When China’s new Defence Minister Li Shangfu turned down an invitation to meet with US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin last week it shattered all hopes. The background to this refusal could have been the fact that in 2018 the US put sanctions on Li, appointed as China’s new defence minister in March, for buying weapons from Russia.
Albanese’s statement comes as Australia struggles to maintain a careful balance between its close links to the United States and its occasionally difficult relations with China, which is Australia’s largest trading partner and the country that purchases the majority of its prized iron ore.
Australia’s shaky relations with Beijing could be strained by an agreement to purchase nuclear-powered submarines from the United States, which was revealed in March and has drawn criticism from Beijing.
Australia is expected to spend $250 billion over the course of three decades on the submarine programme, which is a component of the AUKUS, a larger security agreement with the United States and Britain.