A police officer stands guard ahead of the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue held at Singapore's Shangri-La Hotel on May 31, 2019. As the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue kicks off here Friday, defense representatives are expected to present views on pressing security challenges in the Asia-Pacific and call for closer cooperation and new perspectives. (Xinhua/Then Chih Wey)
SINGAPORE, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The 18th Shangri-La Dialogue opened here Friday evening to discuss the security situation and its challenges in the Asia-Pacific.
Defense ministers, security experts and diplomats from different countries gathered in the city-state to share their views on Asia's evolving security order and its challenges, cyber-capability development, new patterns of defense cooperation, among other topics, at the dialogue.
In a keynote speech to open the event, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong called for building a broader regional cooperation and multi-lateral arrangements, reaffirming Singapore's support to the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
On China-U.S. relationship, he said he hoped that the United States and China find a constructive way forward, and cooperate on major issues of mutual interest.
Leading the Chinese delegation to the dialogue, Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe is expected to deliver a speech on China's security cooperation with the international community, meet heads of foreign delegations and exchange views on a wide range of issues.
Since its launch in 2002 by the British think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies and the Singaporean government, the Shangri-La Dialogue, officially known as the Asia Security Summit, has been held annually.