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Global Times

Defense Minister Wei's speech, planned meeting with US delegate highly anticipated

Global Times

By Li Aixin Source:Global Times Published: 2019/5/30 21:18:40

Wei's speech, planned meeting with US delegate highly anticipated

The Chinese delegation at this year's Shangri-La Dialogue arrived in Singapore on Thursday for the highly anticipated three-day event, which gathers defense ministers, military chiefs and top-ranking military officials from 38 countries.

The delegation includes China's State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe, officers from the ministry and scholars affiliated with the People's Liberation Army (PLA), such as Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission Shao Yuanming and PLA Southern Theater Command Navy Commander Wang Hai.

No police officers have been seen on Thursday around the Shangri-La Hotel where the dialogue will take place from Friday to Sunday. A taxi driver told the Global Times that most police forces in the country are wearing plain clothing and surveillance cameras are everywhere.

Signs reading "police checks ahead" and "comply with police orders" can been seen near the hotel. Security scanners were being set up inside the hotel Thursday evening.

Organized and convened by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), this year's dialogue will see Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong deliver the opening address on "the importance of stable US-China relations to the region and the role smaller states can play in bolstering the multilateral world order" Friday evening, according to IISS press release.

Acting US Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan will deliver a speech with the theme, "The US vision for Indo-Pacific security" in the first plenary session Saturday morning. On Sunday morning, Wei will make a speech about "China and international security cooperation."

Wei's attendance at the dialogue has grabbed worldwide attention since this is the first time in eight years that such a high-ranking Chinese official will represent the country at the conference.

"The decision stems from China's and the world's needs," Zhou Bo, director of the Security Cooperation Center of the Office for International Military Cooperation at China's Ministry of National Defense, told Global Times.

The Chinese defense minister's attendance is always highly anticipated, Zhou said. According to the agenda, only defense ministers from China and the US enjoy an entire session individually to deliver their speeches. Such arrangement mirrors the significance to hear the two countries' voices.

"As China's military and comprehensive strength rises, some countries are getting increasingly suspicious and concerned about it. It is much more necessary to tell the Chinese stories well," Zhou said.

Wei and Shanahan is expected to meet at the summit.

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