SINGAPORE: The annual Asia-Pacific security summit, dubbed the “Shangri-La Dialogue”, is now into its tenth year. The three-day summit, which kicks off in Singapore on Friday, has attracted 30 defence delegations, the largest so far.
Among those attending are the US Defence Secretary, Robert Gates and China’s Defence Minister General Liang Guanglie, who is leading a delegation to the dialogue for the first time. Also present was former Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
Delivering the keynote address to set the tone of discussions for the summit is Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has attended the conference several times before as the country’s Defence Minister.
He said: “National interest is becoming more and more about collective interest, and our task now is to reflect this in a multi-lateralism that is both hard-headedly realistic and progressive. Because the way ahead, I have no doubt, must be built on co-operation and not on confrontation – and for that every region, every country, every leader here today must play their part.
“The cynics thought that Asia and the West could never truly come together as a cohesive whole, that we had too little in common, that life in Surabaya was simply too far removed from life in San Diego. The last ten years have proved them wrong.”
Before delivering his keynote address, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak also met Acting Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is currently on leave.
They discussed regional and international issues.
Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen also met with his Malaysian counterpart, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue. Dr Ng also met with US Secretary of Defence Robert Gates, as well as ministers and senior officials from Brunei, Chile, France, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines and Sri Lanka on the sidelines of the dialogue on Friday.
Source : Channelnewsasia