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PacNet #38 – China’s Missed Opportunity at the Shangri-La Dialogue

The Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), launched by the Institute of International Strategic Studies (IISS) in 2002, brings together Asia-Pacific defense ministers and experts from around the world to discuss regional security challenges and opportunities for cooperation. The 12th SLD convened in Singapore from May 31-June 2. IISS Director General and Chief Executive John Chipman noted in his opening remarks that the meeting took place “after a year of heightened tensions in the Asia-Pacific, recognizing that defense diplomacy is needed to contain disputes, limit provocations and inspire conflict prevention.” For a vast number of the attendees, much of the instability in the region can be traced to China’s assertive defense of its expansive sovereignty claims in the South China Sea and East China Sea.