Top American and Chinese defense officials will lay out rival visions for the Indo-Pacific region as they meet in Singapore this week amid a bruising global trade war, tensions over China’s push for technology leadership and the specter of stalled U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks.
Acting U.S. Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan will meet Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe at the Shangri-La Dialogue this week. Both men will deliver closely watched -- and likely contrasting -- keynote speeches at the annual security conference. They will also meet on the sidelines with each other, as well with defense officials from across the region.
After months of disruptive tit-for-tat tariffs, Washington and Beijing are competing to sway skeptical allies in the region wary of finding themselves squeezed in an escalating global trade war. While the U.S. has threatened Beijing with more tariffs and pressured allies to ban Shenzhen-based Huawei Technologies Co. from emerging 5G networks, China has pushed back aggressively against those seen siding with Washington, including Canada -- which saw two of its citizens detained.