Asia security summit kicks off amid US-China tensions
Asia's top security meeting opened on Friday, with intensifying competition between the United States and China expected to dominate a weekend of high-level speeches, backroom military dealings and delicate diplomacy.
The Shangri-La Dialogue, which attracts senior military officers, diplomats, weapons makers and security analysts from around the globe, is taking place June 2-4 in Singapore.
Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will deliver the keynote address on Friday evening, before U.S. Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin and China's new Defence Minister Li Shangfu are expected to trade barbs in speeches over the weekend.
The relationship between the U.S. and China is at its lowest point in decades, as the two superpowers remain deeply divided over everything from the sovereignty of Taiwan to cyber espionage and territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
Hopes that the summit in Singapore could be a chance to mend ties between Washington and Beijing were dealt a blow last week when Li declined an offer to meet with Austin.