Asian, Western defense chiefs to hold security summit in Singapore

The rise of China and India will be on the agenda when defense ministers and military chiefs from nearly two dozen Asian countries and major Western powers hold an annual security conference next month in Singapore, organizers said.

The three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, named after the Singapore hotel where it's held, begins June 2, and will involve delegates from at least 22 countries including the United States, Britain, Canada, France, Japan, China and India.

Issues to be addressed include U.S.-Asia security relations, the rise of India and China, maritime security cooperation, counterinsurgency and regional security concerns, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies said in a statement received Wednesday.

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will deliver the conference's keynote address, after which defense ministers will hold bilateral discussions and round-table meetings.

U.S. defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld attended the security forum last year, when he challenged China's military buildup and urged political change in the world's fastest growing economy.

This year's Shangri-La meeting is the fifth since the dialogue was set up institute, with support from Singapore, reports the AP.


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