PM Lee to discuss US-China relations, global role of small states at Shangri-La Dialogue

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to highlight the role Singapore and other small states could play in bolstering the world order, amid escalating tensions between the US and China.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is expected to highlight the role Singapore and other small states could play in bolstering the world order, amid escalating tensions between the US and China.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The importance of stable and constructive relations between the United States and China will be the focus of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong's keynote speech at an annual Asia defence forum on Friday (May 31).

Mr Lee is expected to highlight the role Singapore and other small states could play in bolstering the world order, amid escalating tensions between the world's two biggest economics, the forum's organisers said on Monday.

Trade talks between the US and China broke down in Washington earlier this month.

Both sides have imposed heightened tariffs on billions of dollars worth of each other's imports. Washington has also blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei, restricting its dealings with US firms.

PM Lee will address defence ministers, military chiefs and top-ranking defence officials at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) Shangri-La Dialogue, which will take place at the Shangri-La Hotel from Friday to Sunday.

IISS director-general John Chipman said: "Delegates from the region and beyond could not have a better-informed guide than PM Lee to the security challenges facing the region and to how concerned states may best ensure continuing stability."

Chinese defence minister Wei Fenghe will attend the forum - the first time since 2011 that a Chinese defence chief has been present, with Beijing having previously sent lower-ranking ministers.