Defense ministers from various countries gathered in Singapore for a security forum starting on Friday. The forum is known as the Shangri-La Dialogue and will include speeches from China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu and the U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Topics to be discussed include China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea, North Korea’s weapons program, and Russia’s war on Ukraine. Bilateral meetings are also expected to take place, including a quadrilateral talk between the defense ministers of Japan, the United States, Australia, and the Philippines. However, China declined Austin’s request to meet one-on-one with Li. The war in Ukraine will also be discussed, with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov’s attendance. Nearly 600 delegates from more than 40 nations attend the forum in person this year. The conference has been held annually in Singapore since 2002 but was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
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