pacific forum History of Pacific Forum

PacNet #35R – Response to PacNet #35 – US 1, China 0

Ralph Cossa’s assessment of the 11th Shangri-La Dialogue, held in Singapore from June 1-3, focuses almost entirely on US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta’s plenary address and its ramifications, with some sidelights on the question of Chinese participation in the Dialogue. In doing so, he fails to present a full picture of the Dialogue, overlooking highlights such as Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s keynote address in which he talked about the challenges of building a durable regional security architecture and the important contributions of regional states’ defence ministers including Myanmar’s Hla Min, who in the course of remarkably frank responses to questions from the floor spoke about the status of his country’s nuclear research program and its relations with North Korea. There were also particularly intense debates in the closed-door special sessions, and countless useful private meetings between ministers, military chiefs and top defense officials.