Shaking things up
Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha is scheduled to give the keynote speech at the influential gathering of senior defense officials from within and outside the AsiaPacific region. The 15th dialogue, organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, will be held from Friday through Sunday in Singapore.
Zhang Junshe, a senior researcher at the PLA Naval Military Studies Research Institute, said that the dialogue this year has a new twist — the arbitration sought by the Philippines against China regarding the South China Sea issue.
Zhao Xiaozhuo, a researcher at the Center on ChinaAmerica Defense Relations at the PLA Academy of Military Science, said it is common to see conflicting ideas debated between Chinese and US military officials during the annual dialogue.
He said Washington will likely use the opportunity to pressure and isolate China, especially militarily.
Sun Jianguo, deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of China’s Central Military Commission, will lead a Chinese delegation and deliver a speech during a plenary session.
The South China Sea, China-US military ties and the Korean Peninsula are on the top of the Chinese delegation’s agenda.
Ruan Zongze, vice-president of the China Institute of International Studies, said, “It is time for both sides (China and the US) to evaluate how far they will allow the South China Sea issue to go.”
It was unclear whether Sun will have a meeting or other contacts with the US participants, who will include Secretary of Defense Ash Carter.
Sun is also expected to hold bilateral and multilateral meetings.
A Brazilian chef is visiting Beijing and creating some delightful dishes at the fifth annual food festival organized by the Brazilian Embassy. > p15 million, the latest in a series of overseas acquisitions. > p13