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The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue

The International Institute for Strategic Studies Arundel House | 13–15 Arundel Street | Temple Place | London | wc2r 3dx | UK

© August 2014 The International Institute for Strategic Studies Director-General and Chief Executive Dr John Chipman

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or

Editor Dr Tim Huxley

utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now

Contributors Dana Allin, Ben Barry, Dr William Choong,

known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in

Virginia Comolli, Mark Fitzpatrick, James Hackett, Nigel Inkster,

any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing

Alexander Neill, Alexander Nicoll, Sarah Raine,

from the Institute.

Dr Nicholas Redman, Dr Eneken Tikk-Ringas Editorial Dr Ayse Abdullah, Anna Ashton, Zöe Rutherford Editorial Research James Howarth Production and Design John Buck, Kelly Verity

The International Institute for Strategic Studies is an independent centre for research, information and debate on the problems of conflict, however caused, that have, or potentially have, an important military content. The Council and Staff of the Institute are international and its membership is drawn from over 90 countries. The Institute is independent and it alone decides what activities to conduct. It owes no allegiance to any government, any group of governments or any political or other organisation. The IISS stresses rigorous research with a forward-looking policy orientation and places particular emphasis on bringing new perspectives to the strategic debate.

Contents Foreword . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .5 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7 Chapter 1 Keynote address and opening dinner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Chapter 2 First plenary session The United States’ contribution to regional stability . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Chapter 3 Second plenary session Advancing military-to-military cooperation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter 4 Third plenary session Managing strategic tensions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Chapter 5 Simultaneous special sessions Session 1 The challenges of maintaining and managing open seas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 Session 2 The impact of new military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Session 3 Climate change, HADR, and security in the Asia-Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Session 4 ASEAN and the emerging regional security order . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Session 5 The future of North Korea: Implications for regional security . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Chapter 6 Fourth plenary session Major power perspectives on peace and security in the Asia-Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 Chapter 7 Fifth plenary session Ensuring agile conflict management in the Asia-Pacific . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 Chapter 8 Social media . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Chapter 9 Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61 Appendices I. Selected press coverage of the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 II. Selected IISS publications . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111


The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) is

The IISS thanks the government of Singapore for

pleased to present this summary of the proceedings of

its generous support and logistical assistance for the

the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue. The Dialogue, convened

Shangri-La Dialogue in 2014, and for supporting an

in Singapore from 30 May–1 June 2014, marked a step-

expanded Shangri-La Dialogue process under the

change from previous events in the annual series.

terms of the Memorandum of Understanding agreed

Following a year of tension among the major actors in

between the IISS and Singapore’s Ministry of Defence

Asia-Pacific security affairs, addresses by senior govern-

in May 2012. That MoU provides for the extension of

ment figures were often more direct and pointed than

the Singapore government’s support for the Dialogue

in the past, and the subsequent discussions involving

to 2019, for the establishment of two Shangri-La

delegates were equally robust. In addition, the Dialogue

Senior Fellows for Asia-Pacific Security in the IISS–

was considerably larger, with approximately 25% more

Asia office in Singapore, for a Shangri-La Dialogue

delegates than were present at the previous year’s event.

publications programme (including the annual

Like its predecessors, the most recent Shangri-La

Regional Security Assessment IISS Strategic Dossier,

Dialogue provided participating states’ defence estab-

the first of which was distributed to all delegates at

lishments, represented by their ministers, permanent

the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue), and for a series of

heads of ministries and military chiefs, with unparal-

annual specialist workshops on defence and security

leled opportunities to hear each other’s perspectives

issues. In January 2014, the second event in this IISS

on current and emerging security challenges in their

Fullerton Forum, the Shangri-La Dialogue Sherpa

region and globally. As well as plenary sessions and

Meeting series, brought together 60 delegates includ-

special sessions, government delegations held many

ing governmental representatives (both civilian and

private bilateral (and in some cases trilateral) meetings

military) from more than 20 Shangri-La Dialogue

with their official counterparts from other participating

participant states.

states. This report summarises the discussions that were

We also express gratitude to the following com-

open to all summit delegates in the plenary and special

mercial, institutional and governmental benefactors

sessions. Full transcripts of all sessions, including ques-

for additional, vital financial support: Airbus Group,

tions-and-answers, are available on the IISS website.

The Asahi Shimbun, Boeing, Lockheed Martin,

In 2014, 27 governments and the European Union

Mitsubishi Corporation, Northrop Grumman, Phoenix

sent delegations to the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue,

Television, Singapore Technologies Engineering and

led in most cases by their ministers or secretaries of

the Australian Department of Defence. The IISS looks

defence. Eight additional countries that were not usual

forward to developing further these valuable partner-

Dialogue participants also sent ministerial or other offi-

ships in the service of advancing pan-regional security

cial delegates. Outstanding features of this thirteenth

dialogue and cooperation.

meeting in the series included the keynote address at

Dr John Chipman cmg,

the opening dinner by Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo

IISS Director-General and Chief Executive

Abe, and the robust discussions on regional security

Dr Tim Huxley,

concerns throughout the Dialogue.

Executive Director, IISS–Asia




The IISS initiated the Shangri-La Dialogue (originally

has become institutionalised as a recurrent fixture in the

known as the ‘Asia Security Summit’) in 2002 in response

diaries of those invited as key delegates. Total delegate

to the evident need for a forum where the Asia-Pacific’s

numbers increased from approximately 160 in 2002, to

defence ministers could engage in dialogue aimed at

250 in 2006, 330 in 2010 to 364 in 2013 as a result of the

building confidence and fostering practical coopera-

IISS seeking to expand involvement by both govern-

tion. Today, the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue remains the

mental and non-official delegates. In 2014, there was a

only annual meeting for defence ministers from across

25% increase in delegate numbers to 451, largely as a

the broad Asia-Pacific region. It also convenes chiefs of

result of the IISS inviting additional representatives of

defence staff, permanent heads of defence ministries

foreign ministries, and also more female and media del-

and (in a parallel meeting) intelligence chiefs from the

egates. Underlining the importance of the event for the

same region. It has established itself as a key element

Institute, there was also an especially strong contingent

of the emerging regional security architecture, and

of IISS research staff, Trustees, and Members of Council

maintains its status as the most important and most

at the 2014 Dialogue.

inclusive gathering of top-level defence professionals in

From the Dialogue’s beginning, many key national

the Asia-Pacific. By providing an agenda that responds

players in the Asia-Pacific ensured that they were rep-

specifically to their concerns and interests, and by facili-

resented at a high level. Even at the first Shangri-La

tating easy communication and fruitful contact among

Dialogue in 2002, 14 countries were represented by

them, the Shangri-La Dialogue has helped to cultivate

their defence ministers, deputy ministers, or close

a sense of community among the key policymakers

equivalents. In 2014, the following 16 countries were rep-

in the defence and security establishments of regional

resented at full ministerial level: Australia, Cambodia,

states and of those major powers with significant stakes

France, Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea,

in Asia-Pacific security. Over the 12 years since the

Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea,

first Shangri-La Dialogue, growing openness has char-

Singapore, Thailand, Tonga, the United Kingdom, the

acterised its discussions, and this was evident at the

United States and Vietnam. Deputy ministers or senior

thirteenth Dialogue in May–June 2014.

officials led the delegations from Bangladesh, Brunei, Canada, China, the European Union, Germany, India, Laos, Myanmar, Pakistan, Russia and Sri Lanka. In


addition, senior officials represented Chile, Colombia, Finland, Mexico and Norway.

Despite the expanding calls on the time and attention

Regional and international observers of the

of defence ministers, military chiefs, and top-ranking

Shangri-La Dialogue always take a close interest in

defence officials as a result of more recently-established

the level at which China is represented. Given China’s

series of meetings such as the ASEAN Defence Ministers’

status as the world’s most populous country, its

Meeting and its offshoot, the ADMM-Plus, govern-

possession of nuclear weapons and permanent UN

ments have maintained and in some cases strengthened

Security Council membership, its rapidly growing

their participation in the Shangri-La Dialogue, which

economic and military power, and its close involve-



Professor François Heisbourg, Chairman of the Council, IISS; Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, Singapore; and Fleur de Villiers, Chairmain of the Trustees, IISS

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan; and Lee Hsien Loong, Prime Minister, Singapore

ment in security affairs throughout the Asia-Pacific

delegation made an impressively strong contribution

region, this is entirely understandable. Fittingly for the

to the Dialogue. Lieutenant-General Wang spoke in the

milestone tenth Shangri-La Dialogue, General Liang

fourth plenary session, and Major-General Yao Yunzhu

Guanglie, Minister of National Defence, led a strong

in the second special session (on the impact of new mili-

PLA delegation to the 2011 summit, at which he spoke

tary capabilities in the Asia-Pacific). Members of the PLA

in a solo plenary session. General Liang’s participation

delegation posed questions and made informed com-

indicated China’s acknowledgement of both the per-

ments on diverse topics in both plenary sessions and

manence and the utility of the Shangri-La Dialogue as a

special sessions, and after the opening dinner address.

platform for what might be called ‘strategic communi-

An important development at the 2014 Dialogue

cation’ in the Asia-Pacific region. It was disappointing

was that China also sent a strong Foreign Affairs del-

that China was not represented at such a senior level

egation, led by Fu Ying, Chair of the Foreign Affairs

at the Shangri-La Dialogue in 2012. However, the

Committee of the National People’s Congress, who had

IISS received assurances from senior PLA officers at

formerly been a Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, and

the time that domestic concerns had prevented fuller

also including four senior officials from the Ministry of

participation, that Beijing recognised the importance

Foreign Affairs’ Department of Asian Affairs. Fu Ying

and value of the Shangri-La Dialogue, and that China

played a significant role, speaking not only in the first

would again be represented at a higher level at future

special session (on the challenges of maintaining and

Dialogues in the series. These assurances were borne

managing open seas), but also joining the panel for a

out at the 2013 Dialogue, to which Lieutenant-General

live televised debate on regional security organised by

Qi Jianguo, who had been appointed as DCGS in 2012,

the IISS and sponsored by Phoenix Television to take

led a particularly strong Chinese delegation, which

place shortly before the Dialogue commenced on 30

included two two-star and three one-star officers, thus

May. Taking into account both its PLA and Foreign

restoring the level of Chinese participation to that

Affairs components, China’s official delegation was the

which prevailed from 2007 to 2010.

largest of any country represented at the 2014 Dialogue,

At the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue, the PLA delega-

with the exception of that of the host, Singapore.

tion was again led by a DCGS, Lieutenant-General Wang

Some participant countries – notably Australia,

Guanzhong, and with approximately the same com-

Indonesia, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Malaysia,

position as in the previous year. As in 2013, the PLA

New Zealand, the United States and, of course,


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Singapore – have for many years consistently sent strong delegations led by ministers to the Shangri-La Dialogue; other governments have also strengthened their delegations over time. In 2008, Canada’s defence minister participated for the first time, and Myanmar and Vietnam both elevated their representation to deputy-minister level. In 2009, Vietnam was represented at full ministerial level for the first time; in 2010, Russia’s deputy prime minister participated and spoke in plenary. From time to time, the IISS has also invited additional countries keenly interested in Asia-Pacific regional security, such as Chile, Tonga and, in 2013, Papua New Guinea, to send their defence ministers. In 2014, it was notable that Vietnam’s delegation was particularly strong: Minister of National Defense General Phung Quang Thanh led a team that

Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Chief of Defence Force, Australia; and General Phung Quang Thanh, Minister of National Defense, Vietnam

also included the Deputy Minister of Defense and four other officers of general rank.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sihasak Phungketkeow,

The extent to which the Shangri-La Dialogue has

who was accompanied by the defence ministry’s per-

become an important fixture in the calendars of Asia-

manent secretary, the deputy chief of defence forces,

Pacific defence and security establishments has been

and senior officials from his own ministry.

evident in the participation of national delegations in

Increasingly open debate during the Shangri-La

spite of domestic developments and crises. In 2008, for

Dialogue has helped to foster and facilitate substan-

example, China and Myanmar both sent high-level dele-

tive cooperation on important security issues, and over

gations despite having recently suffered serious natural

the years ministers have used the Dialogue as a plat-

disasters at home. In 2010, though a political crisis in

form from which to propose and advance initiatives

Japan led to the resignation of Prime Minister Yukio

in areas as diverse as maritime security cooperation in

Hatoyama and his replacement by Naoto Kan only

the Malacca Strait, the analysis of the implications of

the day before the Dialogue began, Japan’s new leader

regional states’ expanding submarine capabilities, the

ensured that Minister of Defence Toshimi Kitazawa

regional proliferation of small arms and light weap-

could attend and speak as planned, underlining the

ons, the structure of the regional security architecture,

importance that Tokyo assigns to security matters and

and the idea of a ‘no first use of force’ agreement in the

the Shangri-La Dialogue’s standing as the key regional

South China Sea. In 2014, it was China’s Deputy Chief

defence and security forum. In 2012, Thailand’s Minister

of General Staff, Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong,

of Defence, Air Chief Marshal Sukumpol Suwanatat,

who made the most comprehensive range of propos-

came to the Dialogue despite a brewing domestic

als for enhancing regional security. Lieutenant-General

political crisis that meant he had to return to Bangkok

Wang argued for: deepened dialogue and exchanges

during the course of the weekend. In 2013, the new

between regional states’ defence establishments, includ-

Malaysian defence minister, Dato’Seri Hishammuddin

ing through the ASEAN-China Defence Ministers’

bin Tun Hussein, came to the Dialogue despite having

Meeting scheduled for 2015; a ‘Silk Road Economic

only taken up the portfolio two weeks earlier follow-

Belt’ and ‘a twenty-first century maritime Silk Road’,

ing a general election. And in 2014, despite the military

which would include strengthened regional coopera-

coup in Thailand only eight days before the Dialogue

tion on counter-terrorism, disaster relief and protecting

commenced, that country was represented by a strong

sea-lines of communication; closer disaster relief coop-

delegation led by the Permanent Secretary and Acting

eration, including an ASEAN Regional Forum disaster



relief exercise that China and Malaysia would co-host in 2015; and enhanced maritime cooperation, particularly through the China-ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund, which would be used to support joint search-andrescue operations and hotlines; and the more effective management of ‘differences’ through strengthened communication among regional countries. Government delegations to the Shangri-La Dialogue have increasingly used it as a venue for private bilateral and trilateral meetings with defence and security partners. The detailed content of these meetings, which have become more numerous each year, has naturally remained confidential. Over time, though, such meetings have become more transparent, with governments’ more often divulging at least elements of their substance in public statements. Among the numerous such

Dr John Chipman, Director-General and Chief Executive, IISS; Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, US

meetings held on the side-lines of the 2014 Dialogue, US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and China’s

beginning served to animate and enrich the summit’s

Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, in which Hagel

proceedings, particularly through the questions such

‘reiterated the United States’ position that all regional

delegates regularly pose to ministerial and other speak-

disputes be solved peacefully, through diplomacy and

ers in the plenary and special sessions. As usual, many

in keeping with international law’, while encouraging

of the non-official delegates at the Dialogue in 2014

China ‘to foster more dialogue and deeper relation-

were leading academics and think-tank analysts at the

ships with neighboring relations’. Secretary Hagel,

forefront of debate on Asia-Pacific security (includ-

South Korea’s Minister of National Defense Kim Kwan-

ing a good number of younger faces), but they also

jin, and Japan’s Minister of Defense Itsunori Onodera

included a strong cohort of journalists and bloggers

used their countries’ fifth annual trilateral defence

on regional affairs, as well as private sector represen-

meeting not only to discuss regional security issues

tatives. From the time of the first Dialogue in 2002, to

including North Korean provocations, but also to reaf-

which then-Senator Chuck Hagel led a strong, bipar-

firm the ‘importance of information-sharing on North

tisan US Congressional Delegation, the IISS has also

Korean nuclear and missile threats’. The 2014 Dialogue

been particularly keen to involve parliamentarians with

again also provided an opportunity for the US defense

strong defence, security and foreign affairs interests. In

secretary and the defence ministers of Australia and

2014, legislators participating in the Dialogue included

Japan to hold a trilateral meeting. As well as exchang-

Fu Ying (Chairperson, Foreign Affairs Committee,

ing views on regional security, Secretary Hagel and

National People’s Congress, China), Reinhard Bütikofer

his Australian counterpart ‘welcomed and supported

(Member of the European Parliament), Tarun Vijay

Japan’s recent efforts to play a greater role in regional

(Member of Parliament, Upper House, India), Mikhail

and global security’. On occasion, official delegations

Margelov (Chairman, Committee for Foreign Affairs,

have also met with private-sector representatives. In

Council of the Federation, Russia), Lord Howell of

2014, Vietnamese Minister of National Defense General

Guildford (Member, House of Lords, United Kingdom)

Phung Quang Thanh held a ‘working session’ with

and Senator Ben Cardin (Chairman, Senate Foreign

senior managers of the US company, Lockheed Martin.

Relations Subcommittee on East Asian and Pacific

The Shangri-La Dialogue has remained above all

Affairs, US).

a ‘Track One’ inter-governmental meeting. However,

By replenishing each year the cohort of academic

participation by ‘non-official’ delegates has from the

experts, distinguished journalists, legislators and busi-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

ness delegates invited to the Dialogue, and by making

China Sea. At the same time, though, there was an even

constant efforts to increase the diversity of non-official

wider consensus – one that included China – on both

delegates from across the Asia-Pacific region, the IISS

the objective need and the practical usefulness of multi-

has continually expanded awareness of the institution

lateral regional collaboration on humanitarian and dis-

in the wider policy community concerned with defence

aster relief (HADR) and search-and-rescue (SAR). This

and security. The IISS has also sought to involve senior

latter consensus reflected not only the serious gaps in

representatives of relevant international and inter-state

cooperative capacity revealed by the impact on the

bodies. At the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue, these included

region of Typhoon Haiyan in late 2013 and of the search

the Head of Operations for East Asia, Southeast Asia

for the missing Malaysian airliner MH370 in early 2014,

and the Pacific from the International Committee of

but also a determination to identify areas of common

the Red Cross, and the Chairman of the North Atlantic

interest where regional cooperation was possible, with

Treaty Organization’s Military Committee.

a view to building confidence and trust as well securing practical benefits. In their plenary addresses, Singapore’s minister for defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, broached


Singapore’s proposal for a regional coordination centre

Because of the Asia-Pacific region’s great geographical

minister, David Johnston, suggested ‘a regular multilat-

scope, the breadth of the Shangri-La Dialogue’s mem-

eral search and rescue exercise’ intended to consolidate

bership across the region, and the sheer diversity of the

the lessons learned from the search for MH370 and to

region’s security challenges, the IISS has always ensured

‘strengthen interoperability’.

for humanitarian and disaster relief, while Australia’s

that the agenda for the Dialogue’s plenary and special

The first Shangri-La Dialogue in 2002 saw the begin-

sessions is wide-ranging. While there is no confected

ning of a tradition that the meeting commences with

overarching ‘theme’ for the agenda of each annual Dia-

an address by a leading regional political figure at the

logue, the emphasis each year has been on what the IISS

opening dinner on the Friday evening. In that year,

sees as the most important contemporary and emerging

Singapore’s Senior Minister (later Minister Mentor) Lee

regional security challenges. At the 2014 Dialogue, the

Kuan Yew made the opening remarks, and in subse-

agenda squarely reflected the acute inter-state security

quent years Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Senior

issues that since the previous year’s meeting had been

Minister (later Emeritus Senior Minister) Goh Chok

preoccupying governments in the region and those

Tong delivered speeches. In 2009 Prime Minister Kevin

with important stakes in its security. It was these inter-

Rudd of Australia was the first leader of a country other

state issues that preoccupied most of the ministers who

than Singapore to address the opening dinner. He was

made plenary addresses and also the speakers in some

followed in 2010 by President Lee Myung-bak of the

of the special sessions. The rising tensions between

Republic of Korea, in 2011 by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri

China and other regional states as a result of territorial

Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak of Malaysia, in 2012 by

disputes in the East China Sea and South China Sea, and

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono from Indonesia,

particularly the contention between China and Japan,

and in 2013 by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung of

was a major focus for discussion and controversy at the

Vietnam. At the 2014 Dialogue, Prime Minister Shinzo

most recent Dialogue. There was considerable consen-

Abe of Japan spoke. In his address, Prime Minister Abe

sus among governmental speakers and delegates from

emphasised the theme that Asia’s continued prosperity

many (but not all) participant countries on the impor-

depended on ‘rock solid’ peace and stability, which in

tance of using international law as the basis for man-

turn required that ‘all countries must observe interna-

aging and resolving territorial disputes in the region

tional law’. He also stressed Japan’s intent to expand its

and also on the more specific matter of the need for the

role in ensuring regional and global security.

speedy establishment of an effective Code of Conduct in

In the opening plenary session of the Dialogue’s

order to prevent any escalation of tensions in the South

Saturday morning, US Secretary of Defense Chuck



minister for defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, spoke about how more agile and effective conflict management might most effectively be ensured in the Asia-Pacific. Minister Le Drian examined the lessons that France had learned from its experience of crisis prevention and management. Dr Ng talked about the need for stronger regional mechanisms and multilateral frameworks, military-to-military cooperation, and concerted action in order to protect ‘common goods’ in the context of a region where the ‘temperature’ had risen. On the Saturday afternoon of the Dialogue, a total of twenty distinguished speakers including ministers of defence (one of them also holding the post of prime minister), deputy ministers, chiefs of defence force Ian Irving, Chief Executive Australia, Northrop Grumman Corporation; and Senator David Johnston, Minister for Defence, Australia

and other senior military commanders, high-ranking defence and foreign affairs ministry officials, and highlevel representatives of Chinese and Russian research

Hagel underscored the enduring nature of the United

institutes, made opening remarks in five special ses-

States’ strategic presence and role in the Asia-Pacific,

sions on ‘The challenges of maintaining and managing

and challenged China’s assertive behaviour in regional

open seas’, ‘The impact of new military capabilities in

waters. In the second plenary, Japanese Defence Min-

the Asia-Pacific’, ‘Climate change, HADR, and secu-

ister Itsunori Onodera, the United Kingdom’s Sec-

rity in the Asia-Pacific’, ‘ASEAN and the emerging

retary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond, and

regional security order’, and ‘The future of North

Malaysian Defence Minister Dato’ Seri Hishammud-

Korea: implications for regional security’. Members of

din bin Tun Hussein, presented their countries’ views

IISS directing and senior staff chaired these sessions,

on the prospects for military and security cooperation

all of which were – like the plenary sessions – ‘on the

in the region and more widely. In the third plenary,

record’ and open to media delegates.

Indonesian Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, new Australian Defence Minister David Johnston, and Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, General


Phung Quang Thanh, talked from their national per-

At the end of the final plenary session of the 2014

spectives about the importance of common norms and

Shangri-La Dialogue, IISS Director-General and Chief

international law in managing strategic tensions in the

Executive Dr John Chipman noted in his conclud-


ing remarks that two themes had emerged over the

On the following day, the fourth plenary ses-

course of the Dialogue: the requirement ‘at every

sion provided an opportunity for Chinese Deputy

turn’ to uphold and respect international law; and

Chief of the General Staff Lieutenant-General Wang

the need to work towards greater transparency, so

Guanzhong and Russian Deputy Minister of Defence,

that ‘proclaimed norms’ may ‘in some fashion be

Anatoly Antonov, to examine regional security from

enforced’. Dr Chipman also commented that, while

their respective major power viewpoints. Lieutenant-

delegates had heard a great deal about history at the

General Wang’s presentation was notable for his

2014 Shangri-La Dialogue, much of the discussion

departure from his original script in order to respond

was ‘future-oriented’, including a focus on the devel-

at some length to earlier remarks by Japanese Prime

opment of norms for the future. The 2014 Shangri-La

Minister Abe and US Defense Secretary Hagel.

Dialogue had perhaps been the most successful so far,

In the fifth and final plenary session, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Singapore’s 12

The Shangri-La Dialogue

because the debate there had been both transparent and future-oriented.


The Shangri-La Dialogue


KEYNOTE ADDRESS AND OPENING DINNER Friday 30 May 2014, 8.00 pm SPEAKER Shinzo Abe Prime Minister of Japan

Keynote address and opening dinner The keynote address to the Dialogue was delivered

imperative that peace and stability were ‘absolutely

by Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan, maintain-

rock solid’ – and for this, it was essential that ‘all coun-

ing the tradition of a head of government speaking at

tries must observe international law’. Japan, with its

the opening dinner. Introducing him, John Chipman,

new proactive approach, intended to play a greater

IISS Director-General and Chief Executive, said the

role in ensuring peace in Asia and the world.

Asia-Pacific was geopolitically highly charged. ‘It is a

While the Asia-Pacific had achieved tremendous

place where strategic swagger mixes with diplomatic

growth, too much of the resulting revenue was being

caution; where solemn proclamations of principle

spent on military expansion and arms. In addition,

intermingle with selective breaches of norms.’ The

stability was threatened by weapons of mass destruc-

prime minister, Chipman noted, was seeking to

tion and by ‘attempts to change the status quo through

stimulate and reform the Japanese economy with his

force or coercion’. Japan was strengthening its rela-

eponymous ‘Abenomics’ policies, and had introduced

tions with the United States, Australia and India, and

the country’s first-ever national security strategy that

the prime minister last year visited all ten ASEAN

set out the argument for a ‘proactive contribution to

member countries. He said: ‘Freedom, democracy,

peace’. Economic revival has provided the basis for a

and the rule of law, which undergirds these two, form

more extroverted Japanese foreign policy.

the Asia-Pacific’s rich basso continuo that supports the

Abe began by declaring: ‘Peace and prosperity

melody played in a bright and cheery key.’

in Asia, for evermore’. One way to achieve this was

Elaborating on his theme of the necessity for

through thriving growth and free trade. It was also

the rule of law, Abe turned to maritime security. Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

Click to see video


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Click to see video (Japanese)

Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan

The principle of freedom on the high seas was long

Abe said it was unfortunate that an agreement he

established. What was now known as the inter-

had concluded in 2007 with then-Chinese premier Wen

national law of the seas was not created by any

Jiabao, to set up a maritime and air communication

particular country or group, he noted, but was ‘the

mechanism so as to prevent unexpected situations,

product of our own wisdom, cultivated over a great

had not been put into effect. ‘It is my firm belief that

many years for the well-being and the prosperity of

commencing the operation of this agreement between

all humankind.’

our two countries will lead to peace and stability of the

‘The first principle,’ the prime minister said, ‘is

region as a whole.’

that states shall make their claims based on interna-

Abe commended ASEAN’s foreign-minister and

tional law. The second is that states shall not use force

defence-minister forums, and the East Asia Summit.

or coercion in trying to drive their claims. The third

He proposed that a permanent committee be estab-

principle is that states shall seek to settle disputes by

lished to prepare a road map to bring renewed vitality

peaceful means…

to the Summit itself, and to make all three meetings

I urge all of us who live in Asia and the Pacific

function better together. Within such a framework,

to each individually uphold these three principles

Abe proposed mutual disclosure of military budgets,


on the principle that ‘sunshine is the best disinfectant’.

Japan strongly supported the Philippines’ call for

He emphasised Japan’s support for ASEAN’s security,

a resolution to the dispute in the South China Sea that

for example by providing new patrol vessels to the

was consistent with these three principles, and also

Philippine Coast Guard, Indonesia and, in the future,

backed Vietnam in its efforts to resolve issues through


dialogue. Abe said: ‘Movement to consolidate changes

Meanwhile, Abe stated, Japan was altering its

to the status quo by aggregating one fait accompli after

defence policy. Because no nation could secure peace

another can only be strongly condemned as something

by itself, ‘it is incumbent upon us in Japan to recon-

that contravenes the spirit of these three principles.’

struct the legal basis pertinent to the right of collective

It was time, Abe said, to return to the spirit and the

self-defence and to international cooperation, includ-

provisions of the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of

ing United Nations peacekeeping operations.’ ‘It is

Parties in the South China Sea, and to refrain from uni-

precisely because Japan is a country that depends a

lateral actions, coercion and threats.

great deal on the peace and stability of the interna-

Keynote address and opening dinner


Lieutenant Colonel Xu Qiyu, Associate Research Fellow, National Defense University, China

Demetri Sevastopulo, South China Regional Correspondent, Financial Times

Christian Le Mière, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, IISS

tional community that Japan wishes to work even

century. ‘I made a pledge against war, to do every-

more proactively for world peace’, he said.

thing I can to create a period of peace in which people

Japan’s Self Defence Forces (JSDF) were, for exam-

will never suffer from war again.’ In the midst of deep

ple, currently part of a UN mission in South Sudan,

remorse for the past war, Japan had created a peaceful,

along with troops from many other countries and

free and democratic nation that protected fundamen-

civilian UN staff and NGOs. But if civilians or NGO

tal human rights and observed the law.

workers came under sudden attack, the JSDF would be

Demetri Sevastopulo of the Financial Times asked

unable to go to their rescue. The Japanese government

whether Japan would be prepared to go to war with

was examining whether this was still an appropriate

China to defend the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. Abe

response, and consulting with coalition parties.

replied that it was important that ‘together we firmly

‘Abenomics’, the prime minister said, went far

protect the law on the seas’. He said: ‘The Senkaku

beyond economic policy. ‘It is nothing less than an

Islands are a traditional Japanese territory, both his-

undertaking to foster “new Japanese” who will shoul-

torically and based on international law, and Japan

der the responsibilities of the coming years.’ Among

currently has effective control.’ It was important to

other traditional qualities, he said, the ‘new Japanese’

work together to make sure that international law

would be ‘determined ultimately to take on the

was observed in the East and South China Seas, and

peace, order, and stability of this region as their own

to implement the previously agreed communication


mechanism to prevent accidental incidents. Christian Le Mière of the IISS asked whether, under the provisions of the UN Convention on the


Law of the Sea, Japan would be willing to refer the

In a short Q&A session, Lieutenant Colonel Xu Qiyu

Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands dispute to an independent

of China’s National Defense University noted that

third-party arbitration mechanism. Abe said Japan

the prime minister had visited the Yasukuni Shrine

accepted the jurisdiction of the International Court

out of respect to the souls of those who had died for

of Justice, but China did not. China should consider

Japan. How would Abe show his attitude to the souls

whether to submit the issue to the ICJ. Abe said: ‘I

of millions of people in China and Korea who had

will say this again: there really is no territorial issue

been killed by the Japanese army? Abe responded that

concerning the Senkaku Islands; Japan has effective

many people had suffered from war in the twentieth



The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue



The United States’ contribution to regional stability

Saturday 31 May 2014, 9.00 am SPEAKER Chuck Hagel Secretary of Defense, United States


The United States’ contribution to regional stability Chuck Hagel, Secretary of Defense, United States

Click to see video

Opening the second day of the Dialogue, in the first

Secretary Hagel insisted that the proclaimed

plenary session US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

American rebalance towards the Asia Pacific ‘is not

forcefully challenged what he described as China’s

a goal, not a promise or a vision – it’s a reality’. He

‘destabilizing, unilateral’ behaviour in disputed waters

devoted many of his remarks to enumerating the sub-

of the South China Sea, at the same time underscor-

stance of that reality. Among the elements he listed:

ing America’s strategic staying power in the region.

President Obama’s visits to the region including to

Anticipating scepticism about that strategic sustain-

Japan, South Korea, the Philippines and Malaysia;

ability, Hagel referred to President Obama’s recent

an agreement with the Philippine president for the

speech which had spoken of America as ‘the hub

rotational presence of US forces there; progress on

of alliances unrivalled in [the] history of nations.’

negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agree-

This was a key element of American strength, Hagel

ment; enhanced capabilities in Korea; 1000 marines

insisted. Hagel’s speech had already given a tour of this

rotating through Australia; introduction of the Joint

system of alliances and security partnerships, includ-

High Speed Vessel in the Pacific; another submarine

ing at least one historically ironic relationship: Hagel

forward-deployed in Guam, and up to four Littoral

pointed to ‘emerging defence ties’ between the US and

Combat Ships to be deployed over the next three years

Vietnam and, in reference to a meeting later that day

in Singapore; the navy’s new Zumwalt-class destroyer;

with Vietnam’s defence minister, he noted that he and

and the intention of basing 60% of navy and air force

General Phung Quang Thanh had each entered his

combat forces in the region.

respective army in 1967 as those armies were fighting a brutal and protracted war against each other.


The Shangri-La Dialogue

The most contentious part of Hagel’s speech was his challenge to China. China’s provocative actions,

he said, included restricting access to Scarborough


Reef, exerting pressure against the ‘long-standing

These words, however, did not mask Hagel’s strong

Philippine presence at the Second Thomas Shoal’,

challenge to Chinese behaviour, nor quell the reaction

various land-reclamation projects in disputed seas,

from Chinese delegates. One of them, Major General

and the movement of an oil rig into waters near the

Yao Yunzhu, Director of the Center for China–America

Paracel Islands. Hagel promised that the US would

Defense Relations at the PLA Academy of Military

‘oppose any effort – by any nation – to restrict over-

Science, attempted to turn his challenge around. Her

flight or freedom of navigation’, and that it would

line of questioning to Hagel suggested, first, that Japan

‘not look the other way when fundamental princi-

had acted unilaterally to challenge the status quo by

ples of the international order are being challenged’.

‘nationalising’ the Diaoyu Islands in 2014 and, second,

This would include American refusal to ‘abide by

that America’s claims that it took no position on the

China’s unilateral declaration of an Air Defence

sovereignty of the islands were hollow, given that

Identification Zone in the East China Sea’. And he

both President Obama and Secretary Hagel had stated

reiterated President Obama’s earlier statement that

that the US–Japan defence treaty covers the islands

the disputed Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu Islands

because Japan administers them. Moreover, Major-

by China) fell under the rubric of America’s mutual

General Yao insisted on reacting to Hagel’s criticism

defence treaty with Japan.

of China’s claims to an Air Defence Identification Zone

Hagel also strongly endorsed the new activism

in the East China Sea. She argued that 20 countries,

in Japan’s foreign and military policies under Prime

including the US and its allies, have set up such zones.

Minister Abe. In particular, Hagel endorsed Japan’s

So why was China being criticised?

efforts ‘to reorient its Collective Self Defense pos-

Hagel replied that the US and other countries have

ture’ towards a more activist and less explicit pacifist

set up such zones only in consultation with neigh-

definition. However, the US Defense Secretary did

bours. On the broader argument about disputed

emphasise American and Chinese ‘shared commit-

islands and US defence commitments, Hagel said that

ment to develop a new model of relations – a model

the disputes should be ‘resolved through international

that builds cooperation, manages competition, and

law and international order’, and that, in the mean-

avoids rivalry’. He spoke specifically of upgrading

time, the US will honour its treaty obligations with

military-to-military engagement through a variety

Japan, the Philippines and Republic of Korea.

of ‘joint exercises, exchanges, and other confidencebuilding measures’. Major General Yao Yunzhu, Director, Center for China–America Defense Relations and Research Fellow

The other questions to Hagel all probed at his stated confidence in the reality and effectiveness of American

Professor François Heisbourg, Chairman of the Council, IISS

Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs to the Vice President of Indonesia

First plenary session


Dr Michael Fullilove, Executive Director, Lowy Institute for International Policy

Tadakazu Kimura, Chief Executive Officer and President, Asahi Shimbun

Lieutenant General (Retd) P.K. Singh, Director, United Service Institution of India

strategic rebalancing. IISS Council Chairman François

region, and therefore asked whether Japan ‘should

Heisbourg noted the eruption of multiple security

shoulder a much heavier burden’, including in military

crises across wide expanses of the globe, including

operations. And retired Indian Lieutenant-General

‘Ukraine in the west and…South China Sea to the

P.K. Singh warned that ‘assertive behaviour by China’

east’, and wondered whether the US could ‘uphold

was creating facts on the ground that would be very

all of its treaty commitments without a reversal of the

difficult to undo.

trend towards the reduction of your defence budget’.








Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar from Indonesia

responded by reiterating confidence in American

asked whether there was a tension between American

staying power. Russia’s ‘very dangerous, provocative

promises of continued leadership and its support for

actions in Ukraine’ had galvanised NATO, and the US

regional security architectures. She referred to an argu-

would be able to fulfil its treaty commitments. The US

ment from the Indonesian foreign minister that ‘no

would always respect the sovereignty of other nations

one particular state should be allowed to dominate’

and so could lead without dominating. The US inter-

what should be ‘inclusive’ and ‘cooperative’ security

est and role in the Asia-Pacific has been repeatedly

structures. Michael Fullilove, Executive Director of

and clearly explained to the American people by

the Lowy Institute in Sydney, wondered why the US

the President and his top national security claims,

President did not make a greater effort to explain the

asserted Secretary Hagel. And Japan, under the lead-

rationale for rebalancing to the American public. Asahi

ership of Prime Minister Abe, was already – according

Shimbun president Tadakazu Kimura expressed con-

to Hagel – on the ‘right track’ towards assuming

cern that America’s ‘serious fiscal condition’ would

greater responsibility and therefore towards lighten-

make it difficult to sustain power projection in the

ing the American burden.


The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue



Advancing military-to-military cooperation

Saturday 31 May 2014, 10.00 am SPEAKERS Itsunori Onodera Minister of Defense, Japan Philip Hammond Secretary of State for Defence, UK Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Malaysia


Advancing military-to-military cooperation Itsunori Onodera, Minister of Defense, Japan

Click to see video

Opening the second plenary session, Japanese defence

in peacetime was essential for this, as was building a

minister Itsunori Onodera said that his Prime

legal framework that swiftly allowed the despatch of

Minister’s speech underscored Japan’s ‘commitment

forces overseas. Agreements that enabled armed forces

to peace and stability in the Asia Pacific’. Japan’s secu-

to supply each other in HADR contingencies were also

rity efforts, said Onodera – with reference to the move


to reinterpret Japan’s post-war constitution – ‘do not

The second challenge was to expand capacity-

mean any change to our path as a peace-loving nation’.

building assistance. Here, Japan faced institutional

The importance of this military-to-military coopera-

and resource limitations and Tokyo needed, Onodera

tion, Onodera said, was highlighted by the range of

said, ‘to make security assistance seamless by enhanc-

disasters and accidents in Asia over the preceding

ing coordination between defence and development

year. The organisation and self-sufficient nature of

agencies. The third challenge for Japan was in pro-

military forces makes them particularly useful. Crises

moting equipment and technological cooperation.

tend to be trans-national in scope, so it was essential to

There were, again, institutional constraints. One way

enhance military-to-military cooperation in humani-

Japan’s defence ministry could help transfer defence

tarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR). Japan

equipment and technology would be by establishing a

was willing to share its experience in these areas.

‘Defence Equipment and Technology Agency’.

However, for Japan to be ‘proactively involved in

Onodera said Japan perceived an ‘increasingly

military-to-military cooperation’, three challenges had

severe regional security environment’. Frank dialogue

to be addressed. The first was to establish a framework

about crisis management was required. Agreement

that helped countries offer assistance. Joint planning

on the Code for Unplanned Encounters at Sea was an


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Defence, UK

Click to see video

important step, and he hoped to see the conclusion

use of our standing forces in peacetime to contribute to

of an effective Code of Conduct for the South China

global stability through partnering, engagement and

Sea. Japan did not accept unilateral action that tried to

upstream conflict prevention and capacity building’.

change the status quo by force, and defence exchanges

It was, Hammond concluded, in the interests of

should be promoted to help generate a ‘norm’ of

states in the Asia-Pacific to ‘seize the opportunity for

continual dialogue. Japan’s review of the right of col-

greater cooperation and engagement, to help prevent

lective self-defense would ‘contribute to the peace and

conflict in the first place, to reduce the risk of miscalcu-

stability of the region’.

lation through unfamiliarity during periods of tension,

The United Kingdom’s Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond said that military modernisation across the region brought opportunities, as

and ultimately to enhance inter-operability with allies should the need for operations arise’. Malaysian





well as threats, including ‘the development of more

Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein discussed the

capable forces’ which might bring with it ‘the poten-


tial for greater burden-sharing in policing the global

Globalisation and increasing access to, and partici-

commons.’ As Asian countries’ armed forces develop,

pation in, the global commons brought with it new

and deploy further from home, the ‘proximity of

threats to security, which demanded new thinking, he

their respective forces, and the frequency with which

said. Military-to-military cooperation had to be bal-

they come into contact, is bound to increase’. It was

anced with competing domestic requirements; stable

in delivering ‘candour, transparency and openness’

geopolitics were, he said, ‘also driven by the stabil-

that, in the British experience, defence engagement

ity of each nation-state in and around the region’.

and military-to-military cooperation had important

There was greater benefit for all ‘if we stand solidly

parts to play. The ties established through military

together’. This was also a lesson from the search for

engagement could facilitate deeper and more formal

MH370. Malaysia had always championed the idea

cooperation. Military cooperation was at the heart of

that ‘a strong and successful ASEAN is not only an

the UK’s planning. As British forces returned to a pos-

economic necessity but also a strategic imperative’.

ture of ‘contingency’, defence engagement – a form of

Malaysia believed, he said, ‘that a strong ASEAN is

soft power – was becoming embedded within British

a stabilizing influence in the region’. While there was

defence doctrine. The United Kingdom sought to

no need for a ‘one-size-fits-all’ defence stabilising

develop an engaged posture that would make ‘active

influence in policy for ASEAN, it had to be united on





Second plenary session



Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin bin Tun Hussein, Minister of Defence and Acting Minister of Transport, Malaysia

Click to see video

several key issues. Common positions were needed

participation was necessary in the ReCAAP mecha-

on important issues like maritime security and major

nism, and then asked Hishammuddin why there has

power relations. There was a pressing need to establish

been recent tension over issues, such as the ‘nine-dash

clear channels for communication. ‘Given the trans-

line or such’, which had ‘been there for thousands

national nature of these emerging security threats…

of years’. Professor Nick Bisley from La Trobe

only united and cooperation can help nations rise to

University, asked Onodera about what plans Japan

meet them’, he concluded.

had to ensure that the consequences of its defence reforms were not destabilising. P. S. Suryanarayana, from the Institute of South Asian Studies at the


National University of Singapore, asked Onodera

Fleur de Villiers, Chairman of the Trustees, IISS,

whether Japan’s military cooperation with India

asked Secretary of State Hammond whether the UK’s

would be confined solely to the non-combat sphere.

armed forces would be able to act if soft power failed.

In response, Hammond said that though the

Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow

UK will seek to use its armed forces in a way that

for Asia-Pacific Security at the IISS, asked Onodera

advances its soft-power agenda, ‘they will retain their

whether he was confident that he had viable channels

ability to fight, their ability to act if soft power fails’.

of communication with China’s leadership during

Onodera said dialogue between China and Japan was

periods of tension. Dzirhan Mahadzir, from IHS Jane’s

required, and that ‘for Japan, the door is always open

Defence Weekly, asked Hishammuddin what ASEAN’s

for dialogue’. Though agreement was reached on

common policy position should be on China’s recent

establishing a maritime communications mechanism,

activities in the South China Sea and how Malaysia

no further progress had been made. On the defence

might react if China ‘planted’ an oil rig within its EEZ.

equipment and technology agency, he said that as

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean of the Lee Kuan

integrated operations are now required, equipment

Yew School of Public Policy, asked Hishammuddin

has to be provided in an integrated way, with empha-

why Malaysia had been more successful than some

sis on equipment in which Japan specialises, such as

other states in managing its differences with China

undersea and maritime rescue capacities. Regarding

on the South China Sea and what advice he had for

constitutional re-interpretation, he remarked that

the Philippines and Vietnam. Professor Zha Daojiong

‘with the way Japan’s constitution is currently inter-

from Peking University asked Onodera why military

preted, we haven’t been able to do the things that a


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Fleur de Villiers, Chairmain of the Trustees, IISS

Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, IISS–Asia

Dzirhan Mahadzir, Malaysia Correspondent, IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly

Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Dean and Professor in the Practice of Public Policy, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Professor Zha Daojiong, Professor, School of International Studies, Peking University

Dr Nick Bisley, Professor of International Relations, School of Social Sciences, La Trobe University

normal country can’. ‘Meanwhile, under the new

Cooperation. Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, from the

administration, [Japan would] like to see a tight bond

Maritime Security Programme at the S. Rajaratnam

formed with India.’ Hishammuddin noted that ties

School of International Studies in Singapore, asked

between Malaysia and China stretched back 40 years

Hishammuddin how effective he thought efforts to

and there were key lessons from history about the

formulate a code of conduct would be in defusing ten-

importance of dialogue and engagement. He referred

sions and managing disputes in the South China Sea.

to the international assistance rendered to Malaysia

Christian Le Mière, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces

in the MH370 search as an example of positive rela-

and Maritime Security, IISS, asked Hishammuddin

tions in the region, noting that it was important to

if a desire not to inflame the situation was behind

focus on shared common principles among ASEAN

Malaysia’s initial denial of a Chinese presence over

states to help build bridges towards better regional

James Shoal in the South China Sea. Dr Masakatsu


Ota from Kyodo News noted that recent opinion

Lieutenant General (Retd) Noboru Yamaguchi,

polls in Japan were against reinterpreting the con-

from Japan’s National Defense Academy asked

stitution and asked minister Onodera how he would

Onodera how much emphasis there would be

persuade the Japanese public of its necessity.

on military-to-military exchanges in any revi-

In response, Hishammuddin said that the DOC

sion of the 1997 Guidelines for Japan–US Defense

and the code of conduct would not be easy to achieve,

Second plenary session


Lieutenant General (Retd) Noboru Yamaguchi

Ristian Atriandi Supriyanto, Associate Research Fellow, Maritime Security Programme, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University

Dr Masakatsu Ota, Senior and Editorial Writer, Kyodo News

‘but realistically we really do not have any other alter-

way. Answering the question about constitutional

native’. Malaysia would deal with issues relating to

re-interpretation, he said that the government was

China through bilateral and regional engagement.

conscious of the changes in Japan’s security environ-

Onodera said that discussions about reviewing the

ment and would listen to the debate in the Diet and

Japan–US defence-cooperation guidelines were under

the wider public.


The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue



Managing strategic tensions

Saturday 31 May 2014, 12.00 noon SPEAKERS Purnomo Yusgiantoro Minister of Defense, Indonesia Senator David Johnston Minister for Defence, Australia General Phung Quang Thanh Minister of National Defense, Vietnam


Managing strategic tensions

Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Minister of Defense, Indonesia

Click to see video










Purnomo Defense,

expected Code of Conduct for the South China Sea was another.

reminded delegates that Southeast Asia has plenty of

Minister Purnomo called on regional states to reaf-

positive experience in managing strategic tensions.

firm their mutual commitment to common norms, in

After the region suffered division and proxy wars

particular ASEAN’s Treaty of Amity and Cooperation.

during the Cold War, he noted, ASEAN had been

Observance of those norms plus the Bali Principles, he

built ‘brick by brick’. Conflicts have been resolved or

argued, would help to create a stable regional order.

brought under control. Some maritime border dis-

He added that building trust is essential in the context

putes have been solved, although the region was not

of military modernisation. Indonesia’s defence budget

always given full credit for this. ASEAN’s members

has grown significantly but it is not directed against

have transformed relations among themselves, and

anyone, the minister averred. Military modernisation

with major powers. Indonesia has worked hard to

does not equate to an arms race. But it is necessary to

improve relations with neighbouring states. Looking

have a positive regional security framework including

ahead, the challenge was to ensure that power shifts

confidence-building measures to ensure transparency.

at the regional and global level do not stoke tensions.

Turning to the regional order, Purnomo said that

There are causes for concern: rivalries, suspicion, his-

the US would remain a military superpower, China

torical animosity and territorial disputes. However,

was a rising force, and ASEAN was destined to

the region should also focus on new opportunities for

become a solid political-security community.Conflict

build security. The search for Malaysian Airlines flight

is not inevitable, he argued, because the region is large

MH370 was one such opportunity; work on the long-

enough to accommodate all powers, and the regional


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Senator David Johnston, Minister for Defence, Australia

Click to see video

security architecture should accommodate this ‘evolv-

nation to make a greater contribution to regional peace

ing dynamic equilibrium’.

and security. A central role for ASEAN and ADMM is

David Johnston, Australia’s Minister for Defence,

likewise of great value, he added.

noted that the global trading system, based on a free

The search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

flow of goods and services, has served Asia well since

showed the benefit of greater military interoperabil-

1945. Regional states should strive to preserve unhin-

ity, the minister noted, but it also showed the need to

dered movement through sea lines of communication,

step up collective efforts as it followed years of dis-

he said, adding that tensions should be resolved peace-

cussion about search and rescue. ‘We would all have

fully and in accordance with international law. As the

to acknowledge that we can and must do better col-

twenty-first century will be the Asia-Pacific century,

lectively,’ he said, in order to manage future crises

with rapid urbanisation and the rise of a huge middle

effectively. To that end, Johnston proposed that

class, there is a great deal at stake.

Australia should facilitate regular multilateral search-

Key to capturing those gains, Senator Johnston

and-rescue exercises focusing on practical skills.

argued, was successful management of the region’s

General Phung Quang Thanh, Vietnam’s Minister

social, economic and strategic transformation. Australia

of National Defense, argued that, in light of continuing

welcomed the ASEAN foreign ministers’ May 2014

tensions and the danger of conflict, building trust is

statement expressing concern over tensions in the

ever more important. He placed particular emphasis

South China Sea. While Australia takes no position

on major powers acting responsibly, observing inter-

on competing maritime claims, it does have a legiti-

national law and not using force or the threat of force

mate interest in international law, unimpeded trade,

to settle disputes. It is incumbent on major powers to

and freedom of navigation, he said. The use of force

take the lead in developing strategic trust, he added.

or coercion unilaterally to alter the status quo in East

The minister said it was important for decision-mak-

and South China Seas is not acceptable, the defence

ers to remain calm, exercise restraint and put national

minister emphasised. He urged all parties to exer-

interests in the context of regional and global interests.

cise restraint and to clarify and pursue their claims in

Without restraint, a minor mistake could turn tension

accordance with international law including UNCLOS.

into conflict.

Johnston singled out the United States for its role in

Vietnam’s relations with China have grown

underpinning regional stability for 70 years. Australia

strongly, the minister noted, although there was a sov-

welcomes the US ‘rebalance’, but also Japan’s determi-

ereignty dispute and on 1 May China had unilaterally

Third plenary session


General Phung Quang Thanh, Minister of National Defense, Vietnam

Click to see video

moved a drilling rig into an area that Vietnam regards

that there was still scope for dialogue, whereas arbi-

as its EEZ. Vietnam is committed to the peaceful reso-

tration was considered a last resort. He noted that

lution of the dispute via UNCLOS and other regimes,

past territorial disputes between the two countries

and this is underlined by the fact that it has exercised

had been resolved. In a subsequent response, he

restraint, eschewing the deployment of combat air-

added that Vietnam’s leadership sought to frame an

craft or warships. He demanded, however, that China

approach that struck a balance between defending its

should withdraw the rig and negotiate peacefully.

sovereignty, ensuring profitable relations with China and maintaining peace and stability in accordance with international law.


General Thanh also took a question on whether

Dr William Choong of the IISS asked General Phung

Vietnam might consider hosting US forces on rotation,

Quang Thanh whether Vietnam would follow the

as Australia has done. He stated clearly that Vietnam

Philippines in taking its territorial dispute with China

would not accept US forces on rotation; the country

to third-party arbitration. General Thanh responded

was clear that it would host no foreign military bases

Dr William Choong, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia Pacific Security, IISS–Asia


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Yoichi Kato, National Security Correspondent, Asahi Shimbun

Reinhard Bütikofer, Member, European Parliament

and would not join any military alliances. However,

ficult as a practical matter to reconfigure this training

he noted that Vietnam has a valuable but underused

routine into something else.

asset in Cam Ranh Bay, which is sheltered, deep-water

Reinhard Bütikofer, a Member of the European

and close to international trade routes. Vietnam is con-

Parliament asked Indonesia’s defence minister how

sidering investing in the facilities there, he said, after

great a threat he judged non-traditional issues to be,

which ships of all countries, including China and the

in particular climate change and its impact on water

US, would be welcome to visit.

supply. In response, Purnomo Yusgiantoro ended the

Yoichi Kato, National Security Correspondent

session on a positive note by stating his confidence that

of Japan’s Asahi Shimbun, asked Australia’s defence

technology would provide a solution. He recalled that

minister about the thinking behind the rotation of

in the 1970s there was great concern about the scarcity

US Marines to Darwin, and whether it had a strategic

of water causing global catastrophe. The doomsday

purpose. David Johnston responded that the strategic

scenario did not happen because technology provided

impact of 1000 US Marines in Darwin was virtually

the answer; the minister added that he believed tech-

zero. Forces deploy up to 700km inland, he noted, and

nological advances would solve other non-traditional

they are provisioned for training. It would be very dif-

threats, including terrorism and cyber threats.

Third plenary session



The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue


SIMULTANEOUS SPECIAL SESSIONS Saturday 31 May 2014 Session 1 The challenges of maintaining and managing open seas Session 2 The impact of new military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific Session 3 Climate change, HADR, and security in the Asia-Pacific Session 4 ASEAN and the emerging regional security order Session 5 The future of North Korea: Implications for regional security


The challenges of maintaining and managing open seas

Click for transcript and audio


There was substantial agreement in this session on the

Dr Wenguang Shao

importance of maintaining open seas, given the crucial

Consulting Senior Fellow for China and International

role that freedom of navigation has played in promot-

Affairs, IISS; Managing Director, Phoenix Chinese

ing prosperity, particularly in the Asia-Pacific: there

News and Entertainment Company

are state, commercial and individual interests at stake. Confirming Beijing’s subscription to these common


interests, one delegate noted China hosted six of

Fu Ying

the world’s eight largest container ports. Attention

Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee,

quickly turned to more contentious issues: manag-

National People’s Congress, China

ing freedom of navigation within national Exclusive

Shinsuke Sugiyama Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

Economic Zones (EEZs) and in zones where claimed EEZs overlap. In discussing the principle of freedom of navigation, including for military assets, within

Richard Fadden Deputy Minister of National Defence, Canada Admiral Samuel Locklear Commander, US Pacific Command

EEZs, the session heard that the implications of challenges to this right extend beyond Asia. Some 38% of all ocean territory is within EEZs, as are all major maritime chokepoints. The session discussed the usefulness of UNCLOS in managing overlapping claims to EEZs, in particular given the convention’s lack of enforcement


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Fu Ying, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee, National People’s Congress, China

Shinsuke Sugiyama, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Japan

Richard Fadden, Deputy Minister of National Defence, Canada

Admiral Samuel Locklear, Commander, US Pacific Command

Dr Wenguang Shao, Consulting Senior Fellow for China and International Affairs, IISS; Managing Director, Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment Company

mechanisms. Amidst discussion of the relevance of

UNCLOS and its implications for the principles of

international law, one panellist was clear about the

open seas.

principles at stake: whatever the competing claims,

The session also discussed the potential for

there is no place for the use or threat of force as a

maritime cooperation. There was agreement that

means of advancing national interests. One Southeast

Humanitarian and Disaster Relief, and Search and

Asian delegate spoke eloquently about the need for a

Rescue provided good opportunities for collabora-

Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, where there

tion which could help to build trust among the armed

is a widening gap between the rhetoric of respect for

forces of the region. The search for Malaysian Airlines

the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties and

Flight MH370 in early 2014 had provided an opportu-

the reality at sea. Another panellist raised China’s

nity for sharing of information on an unprecedented

‘nine-dashed line’, questioning its compatibility with


Special session 1



The impact of new military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific

Click for transcript and audio


Military capabilities of particular concern mentioned

General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux

in this session included navies with extended opera-

Senior Adviser for the Middle East and Asia-Pacific,

tional reach, advanced missile technologies, unmanned

IISS; former Chief of the Defence Staff, UK

aerial vehicles, and the military applications of cybertechnology, the deployment and use of which could


exacerbate inter-state tensions and create instabil-

Air Marshal Mark Binskin

ity. However, there was agreement that advanced

Chief of Defence Force (Designate), Australia Major General Yao Yunzhu Director, Center for China–America Defense Relations and Research Fellow, Academy of Military Science, People’s Liberation Army, China

surveillance and command and control technologies could also enhance regional armed forces’ capacity to respond to humanitarian emergencies. The Chinese perspective highlighted the risks posed by nuclear-weapons proliferation, including by North Korea and potentially non-state actors.

Dr Ralf Brauksiepe Parliamentary State Secretary of Defence, Germany Lieutenant General Ng Chee Meng Chief of Defence Force, Singapore

Moreover, in the Chinese view, ballistic missile defences and US global conventional strike concepts are both destabilising. Militarisation of the global commons, particularly outer space and cyber-space, was also of concern. Both economic growth and insecurity are driving regional armed forces’ modernisation, and more states are deploying air-capable ships and


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Air Marshal Mark Binskin, Chief of Defence Force (Designate), Australia

Major General Yao Yunzhu, Director, Center for China–America Defense Relations and Research Fellow, Academy of Military Science, People’s Liberation Army, China

Dr Ralf Brauksiepe, Parliamentary State Secretary of Defence, Germany

Lieutenant General Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Defence Force, Singapore

General The Lord Richards of Herstmonceux, Senior Adviser for the Middle East and AsiaPacific, IISS; former Chief of the Defence Staff, UK

advanced submarines. In the German government’s

and SAR operations require a multilateral approach.



In Singapore’s view, the ADMM-Plus HADR exer-

enhanced military transparency could help control



cise in Brunei in 2013 was useful, but the importance

regional tensions as Asian armed forces modernise.

of improving military planning and coordination in

Panellists mentioned the relevance of new military

the first 24–48 hours of any HADR crisis was clear. To

capabilities to the search for MH370 which, at its peak

this end, Singapore had offered to establish a regional

involved eight countries’ ships and aircraft, coordi-

HADR coordination centre.

nated by Australia. A wide range of advanced sea and

Some delegates asked whether military pro-

air capabilities had been used, sometimes in unan-

grammes might be harmonised in order to reduce

ticipated roles. The search benefitted not only from

intra-regional misunderstanding and tension. There

existing Five Power Defence Arrangements links, but

was agreement that the ADMM-Plus provided an

also from previous cooperation between the Australian

important framework for discussion, and that HADR

and Chinese armed forces. It illustrated how HADR

would be an enduring role for regional armed forces.

Special session 2



Climate change, HADR, and security in the Asia-Pacific

Click for transcript and audio


The session addressed the issue of cooperation in pre-

Christian Le Mière

venting, mitigating, and responding to, climate change

Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime

and its impact. Speakers and delegates agreed on a

Security, IISS

number of issues. Above all was the realisation that climate change is a key regional security threat and


threat multiplier capable of precipitating future secu-

Lord Tu‘ivakanō

rity problems. In particular, climate change-induced

Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and

humanitarian crises, population displacement, mass

Defence, Tonga

fatalities, resource scarcity, and food and water short-

Dr Jonathan Coleman

ages could heighten social tension and inequality,

Minister of Defence, New Zealand

exacerbating existing conflicts. The session heard that climate change has the

Dr Gowher Rizvi International Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister,

potential effectively to ‘wipe out’ small states. In this


regard, Pacific island states such as Tonga find them-

Professor Raymund Quilop

selves in a highly vulnerable position and needed

Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment,

international support to face the challenge of climate

Department of National Defense, Philippines

change. This predicament underlines the importance of regionalism and the need for smaller states to join international debates as part of regional groupings, rather than individually.


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Lord Tu‘ivakanĹ?, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence, Tonga

Dr Jonathan Coleman, Minister of Defence, New Zealand

Dr Gowher Rizvi, International Affairs Advisor to the Prime Minister, Bangladesh

Professor Raymund Quilop, Assistant Secretary for Strategic Assessment, Department of National Defense, Philippines

Christian Le Mière, Senior Fellow for Naval Forces and Maritime Security, IISS

Countries such as Bangladesh and the Philippines

Some delegates claimed that HADR provides an

that have experienced the catastrophic impact of

opportunity for regional cooperation even among

climate change have developed mitigation and man-

states that might not be natural partners. However,

agement strategies and built up a capacity to deal with

it was admitted that the need to react rapidly in the

natural disasters. Nevertheless, challenges remain,

event of disaster often resulted in national or bilateral

including managing foreign assistance, as shown

initiatives coming to the fore. Some argued that legal

in the case of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

formalities relating to the entry of foreign forces and

Additional complications lie in the need to enhance

nationals should be relaxed to allow quicker responses

military capacity to intervene in HADR contingen-

to natural disasters. Others believed that in spite of

cies. There is also a need for increased information

bureaucratic requirements, the process of granting


and deploying assistance was relatively swift.

Special session 3



ASEAN and the emerging regional security order

Click for transcript and audio


The themes of this session were the roles of security

Dr Tim Huxley

institutions in the regional order, and whether ASEAN

Executive Director, IISS–Asia

possessed the capacity to play a more assertive part. Participants agreed that ASEAN – despite its inadequa-


cies in decision-making and coherence – has emerged

Sihasak Phuangketkeow

as a central actor in regional affairs. Amy Searight from

Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

the US Department of Defense said that Americans have moved away from old debates questioning the

Peter Varghese Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade,

need for Washington to engage with ASEAN. The US


now seeks to accelerate such engagement. The fact that US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel had visited

Dr Amy Searight Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and

Southeast Asia five times in just over a year testified to

Southeast Asia, US

Washington’s interest in the sub-region. The US also

Dr Dino Patti Djalal Senior Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,

viewed with satisfaction the multilateral exercises conducted by the ADMM-Plus in 2013. Optimism about ASEAN’s prospects was quali-


fied by calls for the group to play a more assertive role in regional security. There was clearly difficulty on ASEAN’s part in finding a coherent strategy that could help Southeast Asia and the wider region


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Thailand

Peter Varghese, Secretary, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia

Dr Amy Searight, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for South and Southeast Asia, US

Dr Dino Patti Djalal, Senior Diplomat, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia

Dr Tim Huxley, Executive Director, IISS-Asia

respond effectively to China’s rise. The session heard

Delegates generally agreed that sustained progress

that ASEAN should continue to engage with the major

on such proposals would prove critical in maintaining

powers, and should establish a clearer commitment

ASEAN as the regional order evolved. The grouping

among them to principles that will shape the region’s

can no longer depend on lowest common denomina-

strategic culture. This included an adherence to inter-

tor-type decision-making; rather, it needs sustained

national law, peaceful dispute-resolution and open

leadership to make progress on major issues. ASEAN

discussion of difficult issues. Some delegates argued

would need to avoid the fate of the European Union,

that ASEAN should push harder on thorny concerns

the collective weight of which in strategic terms is less

such as concluding a legally-binding Code of Conduct

than the sum of its parts.

with China in the South China Sea.

Special session 4



The future of North Korea: Implications for regional security

Click for transcript and audio


Panel speakers emphasised that the threat posed by

Mark Fitzpatrick

North Korea’s nuclear weapons programme and eva-

Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament

sion of international sanctions has evolved from a

Programme, IISS

regional problem into a global dilemma. Kim Jong-un is currently consolidating his dictatorship by plac-


ing close aides in key party, government and military

Brigadier General (Retd) Lee Sang-chul

posts. North Korea has amassed plutonium, continues

Director-General, Arms Verification Agency, Ministry

uranium enrichment and has improved yield and min-

of National Defense, Republic of Korea

iaturisation technology through three nuclear tests.

Thomas Countryman

The nuclear weapons programme is not only inex-

Assistant Secretary of State for International Security

tricably bound to Kim Jong-un’s regime legitimacy

and Nonproliferation, US

but is also a vital source of state revenue. Kim has felt compelled to accelerate his nuclear programme after

Dr Justin Vaisse Director, Policy Planning Staff, Ministry of Foreign

observing the fates of regimes in Iraq and Libya, and

Affairs and International Development, France

Ukraine’s loss of territory. The Kim family regime is

Dr Alexander Dynkin

pursuing a ‘blackmail-balance’ strategy consisting of

Director, Institute of World Economy and

a cycle of broken promises in return for concessions.

International Relations, Russian Academy of

All panellists agreed that the only viable solution was

Sciences, Russia

a negotiated settlement. There was some speculation about how Pyongyang might respond to a five-party


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Brigadier General (Retd) Lee Sang-chul, DirectorGeneral, Arms Verification Agency, Ministry of National Defense, Republic of Korea

Thomas Countryman, Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation, US

Dr Justin Vaisse, Director, Policy Planning Staff, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, France

Dr Alexander Dynkin, Director, Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia

Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Programme, IISS

discussion in its absence about the security of the

not accept Chinese assertions that all effort had been

Korean Peninsula.

exhausted. The US is concerned that China remains

The US is uninterested in talks for their own sake

a crucial source of high technology and materials for

on North Korea’s terms, but remains prepared to talk

North Korea’s nuclear programmes. Inadvertent facili-

with Pyongyang if and when the regime indicates that

tation of North Korea’s proliferation activities and

it is serious about denuclearisation. For this reason,

sanctions evasion also remains a concern. Concerted

the international community must show unity in

international pressure on the DPRK to choose the

exerting pressure on North Korea to comply with its

path of denuclearisation should continue, and the US

UN obligation of irreversible, verifiable denucleari-

stressed that tightened sanctions were important to

sation. France and the US both stressed that China

prevent North Korea from importing proscribed items

could exert greater pressure on North Korea: they did

and profiting from illicit exports.

Special session 5



The Shangri-La Dialogue


The Shangri-La Dialogue



Major power perspectives on peace and security in the Asia-Pacific

Sunday 1 June 2014, 9.15 am SPEAKERS Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong Deputy Chief, General Staff Department, People’s Liberation Army, China Anatoly Antonov Deputy Minister of Defence, Russia


Major power perspectives on peace and security in the Asia-Pacific Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief, General Staff Department, People’s Liberation Army, China

Click to see video

Opening the fourth plenary session, Lieutenant-

not to reciprocate. Wang called those speeches ‘staged

General Wang Guanzhong, Deputy Chief, General

provocations to China’ that were pre-coordinated and

Staff Department, People’s Liberation Army charac-

‘simply unimaginable’. In contrast to Abe’s indirect-

terised China’s security concept for Asia in terms of

ness in not criticising China by name, Wang said he

a constructive, proactive and positive force aimed at

preferred Hagel’s more direct approach. Yet Hagel’s

‘win-win’ for all. China, he said, pursues a path of

accusations sought to ‘stir up disputes and trouble’ with

peaceful development, upholds a ‘banner of fairness

‘tastes of hegemony’ and ‘expressions of coercion and

and justice’, advocates dialogue and cooperation,

intimidation’. From those speeches and from Japanese

and stands for coordinated progress of security and

and US actions, one could judge ‘who is really stirring

development. He enumerated China’s friendly mili-

up trouble and tension in the region’. China had never

tary exchanges and cooperation with countries in the

initiated disputes over territorial sovereignty and the

Asia-Pacific and the nation’s participation in multi-

delimitation of maritime boundaries; it had only taken

lateral defence and security cooperation. China is

countermeasures against provocations by others.

committed to handling territorial and maritime dis-

Returning to his original text, Wang stated the

putes through peaceful negotiations between the

willingness of the PLA to work with other militaries

states directly involved.

to contribute more to regional and global peace and

Halfway into his remarks, Wang departed from the

development. Specifically, he proposed: the promo-

script prepared before coming to Singapore and criti-

tion of mutual strategic trust by deepening dialogue

cised the speeches over the previous two days by Abe

and exchanges; supporting common development by

and Hagel, noting a Chinese proverb that it is impolite

strengthening security cooperation; promoting dis-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Anatoly Antonov, Deputy Minister of Defence, Russia

Click to see video

aster relief cooperation; maritime cooperation; and

of global missile defence. Russia preferred to rely on

managing differences by establishing security mecha-

coordinated efforts under the aegis of the UN and

nisms. China was exploring establishing telephone

regional structures such as the ADMM-Plus. He noted

links with ASEAN countries of the kind already estab-

that Russia had concluded agreements with four

lished with Russia and the United States. Finally, he

Pacific neighbours on preventing dangerous military

noted that next year marks the 70th anniversary of the

activities near their borders and was working on simi-

‘victory of the world’s anti-Fascist war’. He said China

lar agreements with Japan and North Korea. Looking

will never allow ‘ruthless fascist and militarist aggres-

to the future, he suggested creating a comprehensive

sion to stage a comeback’.

regional mechanism for preventing dangerous mili-

Russian Deputy Minister of Defence Anatoly

tary activities. Voluntary transparency of military

Antonov emphasised that ‘Russia has always been,

activities would also be conducive to strengthening

and will remain, an integral part of the Asia-Pacific’,

regional security, he said.

where its primary role was to ensure peace and security. Most regional states, he said, had realised the need to create a durable system of regional security


based upon ‘collective non-bloc foundations’, prin-

Chikako Ueki, Professor of International Relations at

ciples of equality and indivisible security and strict

the Graduate School of Asia-Pacific Studies at Waseda

compliance with international law.

University, asked Lieutenant-General Wang if China

Cooperation was necessary, Antonov said, to cope

would establish a military hotline with Japan, and for

with the threat of terrorism and the risk of proliferation

clarity about China’s rules of engagement, especially

of weapons of mass destruction. Like Wang, Antonov

in its declared exclusive economic zone. Wenguang

referred to a return of fascism: ‘This is what we see in

Shao, IISS Consulting Senior Fellow for China and

Ukraine, exposed to the most violent face of so-called

International Affairs and Managing Director of

“colour revolution”’. He encouraged countries to

Phoenix Chinese News and Entertainment Company,

stand together to counter the new threat: ‘We have to

asked about prospects for a naval arms race and

figure out how to keep colour revolutions away from

whether China would seek alliances with like-minded

our home, the Asia-Pacific region.’

states. Bonnie Glaser from the Center for Strategic

Antonov decried unilateral attempts to establish

and International Studies, asked if China might be

regional order, including through regional elements

open to arrangements for coastguard vessels joining

Fourth plenary session


Dr Chikako Ueki, Professor, International Relations, Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University

Dr Wenguang Shao, Consulting Senior Fellow for China and International Affairs, IISS

Bonnie Glaser, Senior Adviser, Freeman Chair in China Studies, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Leela K Ponappa, Former Deputy National Security Advisor and Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat

Alexander Neill, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, IISS–Asia

Barry Desker, Dean, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University

a code concerning unplanned encounters at sea, and

establishment of liaison contacts including with Japan.

whether China saw a need for also creating an Air-

He also looked forward to the establishment of a new

Defence Identification Zone in the South China Sea.

great-power relationship and a new military relation-

Leela K Ponappa, former Indian Deputy National

ship between China and the US.

Security Advisor, asked what steps China might take

François Heisbourg, Chairman of the IISS Council,

to address terrorist activity emanating from Pakistan

asked Minister Antonov how Russia viewed the

or Afghanistan. Alexander Neill, IISS Shangri-La

prospects for a settlement with Japan regarding the

Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security,

Southern Kuril Islands. Antonov said it was at the

asked if the US and Japan would be excluded from

top of the bilateral agenda for both Russia and Japan.

China’s future vision of Asia-Pacific security. Barry

Lieutenant Colonel Lu Yin, Associate Research Fellow

Desker of the S. Rajaratnam School of International

at China’s National Defense University, noted shared

Studies asked both speakers if they perceived a return

concerns about the development of missile defence

to a Cold War between major powers in the Asia-

systems. Antonov agreed that such systems deployed

Pacific and European theatres. Taking these questions

by Japan, Australia and maybe South Korea could nul-

together, Wang emphasized the need for frequent

lify China’s nuclear deterrence and undercut Russia

consultations to reduce miscalculations, and for mech-

in its far eastern region. In answer to questions about

anisms for notification, codes of conduct and prior

joint contingency planning for North Korea posed by


The Shangri-La Dialogue

François Heisbourg, Chairman of the Council, IISS

Lieutenant Colonel Lu Yin, Associate Professor, Department of Strategic Education and Studies, National Defence University, PLA, China

Aidan Foster-Carter, Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology and Modern Korea, Leeds University

Mark Fitzpatrick, Director, Non-proliferation and Disarmament Programme, IISS

Dr Masashi Nishihara, President, Research Institute for Peace and Security

Dr William Choong, Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Security, IISS-Asia

Aidan Foster-Carter from Leeds University and Mark

Vice Admiral (Retired) Anup Singh of India asked

Fitzpatrick, Director of the IISS Non-Proliferation and

about China’s nine-dash line, which he said defies

Disarmament Programme, Antonov said diplomats

the Law of the Sea treaty. Dana Allin, IISS Senior

have held some meetings on potential nuclear issues.

Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs

He added that Russia sought denuclearisation of the

and Editor of Survival, asked Wang to speculate on

entire Korean peninsula.

why so many countries in the region chose to be US

In a second round of questions, Masashi

allies. P.S. Suryanarayana, of the Institute of South

Nishihara, President of the Research Institute for

Asian Studies, National University of Singapore,

Peace and Security in Japan, asked if President Xi

asked about security cooperation with India. Demetri

Jinping’s 21 May speech in Shanghai meant to exclude

Sevastopulo, Financial Times’s South China Regional

the US from Asian security discussions. William

Correspondent, asked what provocation Vietnam

Choong, IISS Shangri-La Dialogue Senior Fellow for

conducted near the Paracels that caused China in

Asia-Pacific Security, asked if China would submit the

bring in an oil rig. Dzirhan Mahadzir, Malaysia

Diaoyu Islands dispute to third-party arbitration. Dr

Correspondent for IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly, asked

Michael Fullilove, Executive Director, Lowy Institute

why the Royal Malaysian Navy was scrambling to

for International Policy, asked about China’s posi-

intercept Chinese ships in Malaysian waters. Reinhard

tion regarding Russia’s behaviour toward Ukraine.

Bütikofer, Member of the European Parliament, com-

Fourth plenary session


Vice Admiral (Retd) Anup Singh, Former Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Eastern Naval Command

Dr Dana Allin, Senior Fellow for US Foreign Policy and Transatlantic Affairs; Editor of Survival, IISS

P.S. Suryanarayana, Editor, Current Affairs, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore

mented that many nations welcomed the principle

tory going back 2000 years; the Law of the Sea did not

that Abe had promoted of proactive pacifism; would

take retroactive effect and China has excluded applica-

they, too, be considered provocative as Wang had

tion of the convention to issues concerning territorial

labelled Abe?

sovereignty. China, he noted, had ratified the meas-

In reply to the second set of questions, Wang said China’s nine-dotted line had its roots in Chinese his-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

ure, unlike the US, which nevertheless sought to use it for its own purposes.


The Shangri-La Dialogue



Ensuring agile conflict management in the Asia-Pacific

Sunday 1 June 2014, 11.30 am SPEAKERS Jean-Yves Le Drian Minister of Defence, France Dr Ng Eng Hen Minister for Defence, Singapore


Ensuring agile conflict management in the Asia-Pacific Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Defence, France

Click to see video

French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian ini-

specific areas: respecting the law; constant acceptance

tiated the final plenary session by highlighting the

of the principle of dialogue, a need evident in the

crisis prevention and management lessons learnt by

case of competing territorial claims in the Asia-Pacific

France in recent years. The first lesson was that crises

region; and good faith and transparency, meaning that

could not be managed effectively without political

actions had to be in conformity with stated principles.

determination that disruptive behaviour would not

In applying these lessons to the Asia-Pacific, a key

be tolerated. This required firm resolve by the inter-

principle was freedom of maritime navigation and

national community of the kind that had brought Iran

air traffic which was becoming increasingly impor-

to the negotiating table and was required for North

tant during a period of global ‘maritimisation’. Early

Korea. It also required decisiveness of the sort dem-

resolution of disputes in the South China Sea was

onstrated by France in 2013 in Mali. Failure to engage

imperative. The time had perhaps come for a bold col-

there at the critical moment would have jeopard-

lective effort. Cooperation also had a clear role to play

ised the entire region’s security and posed a threat

in regional crisis management as did dialogue, an area

to Europe. Such decisiveness was necessary within a

where ASEAN was already doing much useful work

wider framework sanctioned by the international com-

in building a regional security framework .

munity at the global or regional level. Those taking the

In the final address, Singapore’s Minister for

lead needed to have credibility derived from legiti-

Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen, observed that the 2014

macy, and a capacity to implement concrete actions.

Shangri-La Dialogue had heard some hard-hitting

The second lesson was that crisis management

presentations, though these were preferable to the

required an unwavering sense of responsibility in three

alternative. When it came to dealing with crises in


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Dr Ng Eng Hen, Minister for Defence, Singapore

Click to see video

an agile way, a major problem was the impossibil-

intersected as widely as possible to enable protection

ity of predicting where the next crisis would come.

of common goods. This required the building of more

Just a month before Russia’s annexation of Crimea,

resilient mechanisms to forge consensus and political

former French President Giscard d’Estaing had

will; multilateral frameworks to promote trust; prac-

spoken about Europe having eliminated the con-

tical cooperation and interaction between militaries;

cept of war. But if it was hard to anticipate crises,

and concerted action to deal with humanitarian assis-

one certainty was that their impact in today’s inter-

tance and disaster relief.

connected world would be transnational. Much was being made of a growing approximation between Russia and China, accelerated by the Ukraine con-


flict and seen by many as polarisation against those

Lord Howell of Guildford from the United Kingdom’s

partnered with the USA. But if such polarisation did

House of Lords asked whether Asia wanted continued

exist it was not driven by ideology.

US engagement in the Asia-Pacific to take the form

In the Asia-Pacific region, it was clear that the

of partnership or leadership; Haruhisa Takeuchi,

temperature had gone up. Kissinger had observed

Japan’s ambassador to Singapore,

that Europe was in a post-modern mode, reluctant

need for swift reactions to managing crises could be

to engage in military conflict, whereas Asia more

reconciled with the need for securing domestic con-

resembled nineteenth-century Europe in not exclud-

sent; Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar from Indonesia

ing that possibility. Was Kissinger right? Defence

asked if the international community could be relied

spending in Asia was rising, while regional safe-

on to intervene in the event of a maritime confronta-

guards and structures to mitigate disputes were still

tion in the Asia-Pacific region; Senior Colonel Zhou

embryonic. Asia collectively did not have Europe’s

Bo of the People’s Liberation Army asked how major

‘never again’ mentality towards conflict, though indi-

powers including China could contribute to peace-

vidual Asian states had their own ‘never agains’: for

keeping in Africa; Lieutenant-General (Retd) P.K.

China, the humiliations of the nineteenth century;

Singh from India asked if the region could move

for Japan, the baggage associated with World War

beyond its current preoccupations and Tim Huxley,

Two; and for ASEAN, colonisation and exploitation.

Executive Director of IISS–Asia in Singapore, asked

The political challenge was to ensure that the circles

what changes Singapore’s defence policy had made to

of aspiration and ambition of individual Asian states

accommodate new and unpredictable threats.

Fifth plenary session

asked how the


Lord Howell of Guildford, Member, House of Lords

Haruhisa Takeuchi, Ambassador of Japan to Singapore

Professor Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Deputy Secretary for Political Affairs to the Vice President of Indonesia

Senior Colonel Zhou Bo, Chief, Center for International Security Cooperation, Foreign Affairs Office, Ministry of National Defense

Lieutenant General (Retd) P K Singh, Director, United Service Institution of India

Tim Huxley, Executive Director, IISS–Asia

Minister Ng said the USA had played a benign and

A second round of questions included observa-

stabilising role in the region and that a US withdrawal

tions by Nick Bisley from La Trobe University in

would create a catastrophic vacuum: the challenge

Australia that the region needed a sense of common

was to accommodate other rising powers. Recent

cause but also a readiness to acknowledge differ-

military exercises in Brunei involving 18 regional

ences and begin addressing them. Chul Woo Kim

and extra-regional powers who were members of

from the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses asked

the ADMM-Plus grouping showed progress towards

the speakers’ views on handling the media. Bonnie

achieving this aim. It would not be realistic to expect

Glaser of the Centre for Strategic and International

early resolution of sovereignty disputes but the region

Studies asked what the role of international arbitra-

had shown a capacity to develop de-escalation mech-

tion should be in resolving disputes, while Wang

anisms. As to evolving defence strategies, military

Yiwei from Renmin University of China asked about

response to civilian disasters was now the norm for

the risk of the USA outsourcing regional leadership

Singapore’s armed forces. Minister Le Drian thanked

to Japan and also asked in which of its multiple iden-

China and other contributors to the Mali peacekeeping

tities France would contribute to regional security.

operation. He noted that there were more tensions this

Minister Le Drian said the latter question amounted

year in the region but also the will to build institutions

to asking ‘why are you here?’ France was a Pacific

to manage them.

power, a permanent member of the UN Security


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Council and a military power. France saw Japan’s

approach. In respect of the South China Sea, China

role in a positive light but did not seek to play Japan

had already offered assurances on freedom of navi-

against China. Minister Ng said that for some states

gation. It was now for China to identify and develop

it would be political suicide to commit themselves to

the principles it would be prepared to enforce as a

arbitration and not every dispute lent itself to that

rising power.

Fifth plenary session



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The Shangri-La Dialogue


Social media


The challenges of maintaining and managing open seas

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The impact of new military capabilities in the Asia-Pacific

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Climate change, HADR,

Click to see photos

and security in the Asia-Pacific


ASEAN and the emerging

Click to see photos

regional security order


The future of North Korea: Implications for regional security


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Click to see photos



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IISS experts comment on and discuss the themes from the Shangri-La Dialogue

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I. Selected press coverage of the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue II. Selected IISS publications


Selected press coverage of the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue

BBC News 30 May 2014

Shangri-La dialogue: Japan PM Abe urges security role Japan’s PM says his country will play a greater role in regional security and support South-East Asian countries in territorial disputes with China. Shinzo Abe made the comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore. The three-day summit involves the US and SouthEast Asian countries, and comes amid growing tensions between China, Vietnam and the Philippines. Chinese officials said Mr Abe was using the “myth” of a China threat to strengthen Japan’s security policy. Japan-China ties have also been strained over disputed islands in the East China Sea. ‘Seas and skies’ Mr Abe gave the keynote address at the Shangri-La Dialogue, also known as the Asia Security Summit, on Friday. Japan, he said, would play “a more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain”. “Japan will offer its utmost support for the efforts of the countries of Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] as they work to ensure the security of the seas and the skies.” Mr Abe added that he supported efforts by the Philippines and Vietnam to resolve territorial disputes with China. Earlier this month, the Japanese prime minister called for a new interpretation of the country’s constitution, which currently bans “the threat or use of force” to settle international disputes. China, which had parts of its territory occupied by Japan during World War Two, has criticised the move. On Friday, Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Fu Ying, who is also at the summit, said Mr Abe was “trying to amend


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the security policy of Japan” in a move that was “worrying for the region”. Mr Abe had exacerbated regional tensions and the “myth” that China was “posing a threat to Japan”, she added. Analysts say that although some Asean members will be reluctant to antagonise China because of their economic and political ties, others are likely to welcome an increased role from Japan. ‘Overplaying its hand’ China continues to unsettle its neighbours after declaring an air defence zone in the East China Sea and taking a more confrontational stance over disputed islands in the South China Sea, the BBC’s Sharanjit Leyl in Singapore reports. The forum is a chance for senior delegates from the region to meet face to face and attempt to resolve tensions, our correspondent adds. Beijing claims a U-shaped swathe of the South China Sea that covers areas other South-East Asian nations say are their territory. On Tuesday, a Vietnamese fishing boat sank after it collided with a Chinese vessel near a controversial oil rig in the South China Sea, with both countries blaming the other for the incident. Vietnam has protested against China moving its oil rig to waters also claimed by Hanoi, at a spot near the disputed Paracel Islands. Meanwhile, the Philippines is in the process of taking China to a UN court over its territorial claims in the South China Sea. US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said he would use the summit to raise issues “where we think China is overplaying its hand and presenting new challenges”. Analysis: Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent: “Mr Abe wants to step up support for countries locked in maritime disputes with Beijing. He condemned those who wished to “consolidate changes to the status quo” by dictating to others - another stab at China. Mr Abe wants to change Japan’s post-war consensus to allow the country to take a more active role in collective

defence. And it wasn’t just what Mr Abe said - it was where he said it. There is no collective security organisation like Nato in Asia and thus the conference known as the Shangri-La Dialogue has become the main annual security “event” in the region. This was the first time that a Japanese leader had given the keynote address there - a sure sign that Mr Abe wants Japan to take a more expansive role in the wider security debate.” ©2014, BBC News Reprinted with permission

New York Times 30 May 2014

U.S. Sway in Asia Is Imperiled as China Challenges Alliances By Helene Cooper and Jane Perlez SINGAPORE — The Obama administration’s threeyear-old plan to shift its foreign policy focus to Asia was supposed to shore up interests in a critical region, push new free trade pacts and re-establish United States influence as a balance to a growing China, after a decade of inattention. But as Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited this city-state for a security conference with all of the interested parties on Friday, that much-vaunted Asia policy appeared to be turning into more of a neighborhood street fight, with the United States having to simultaneously choose sides and try to play the role of referee. All around Asia, China is pushing and probing at America’s alliances, trying to loosen the bonds that have kept the countries close to Washington and allowed the United States to be the pre-eminent power in the region since World War II. In just the past week, China traded punches with Vietnam and Japan. A Chinese fishing vessel rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat on Monday near a Chinese deepwater oil rig that was placed in disputed waters off the coast of Vietnam. That confrontation followed a close encounter last Saturday in which two pairs of Chinese fighter jets flew close to Japanese surveillance and electronic intelligence planes, in disputed airspace claimed by both countries. By itself, neither encounter rises to the level of the transPacific standoff that occurred in the East China Sea last year after China asserted military authority over airspace that included uninhabited islands claimed by Japan. But taken together, those episodes form a pattern of escalating maritime and air tensions in the Pacific that have frustrated and worried American officials. In his strongest words yet on the territorial disputes, Mr. Hagel on Saturday morning implicitly accused China of “intimidation and coercion” as he delivered his keynote

address to the conference. China has called the South China Sea “a sea of peace, friendship and cooperation,” Mr. Hagel said. “But in recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea.” China’s goal is to show Washington that if it maintains alliances in Asia, it risks a fight with Beijing, said Hugh White, a former senior Australian defense official who worked closely with Washington and is now professor of strategic studies at the Australian National University. “China is deliberately doing these things to demonstrate the unsustainability of the American position of having a good relationship with China and maintaining its alliances in Asia, which constitute the leadership of the United States in Asia,” Mr. White said. China is betting that America, tired and looking inward, will back off, he said, eroding its traditional place of influence in Asia and enhancing China’s power. But even as Mr. Hagel and the United States have adopted a public posture that backs Japan — and, to a lesser extent, the Philippines, Vietnam and any other country that finds itself at odds with China — some administration officials have privately expressed frustration that the countries are all engaged in a game of chicken that could lead to war. “None of those countries are helping matters,” a senior administration official said. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to talk candidly about American policy, said that the United States would publicly back Japan and that treaty obligations mean that if Japan and China go to war, the United States will almost certainly be dragged into it. But, he added, administration officials have privately prodded their Japanese counterparts to think carefully before acting, and to refrain from backing China into a corner. “If these are kids in the schoolyard, they are running around with scissors,” said Vikram J. Singh, who until February was the United States deputy assistant secretary of defense for South and Southeast Asia and is now the vice president for national security at the Center for American Progress. “Wars start from small things, often by accident and miscalculation — like dangerous maneuvers by aircraft that result in a collision or aggressive moves that lead to an unexpected military response.” Speaking at the opening session of the conference on Friday, Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who has had a role in stirring tensions in the region by embracing a more assertive military stance, bypassed a question about whether he was willing to go to war with China over the disputed islands in the East China Sea, which Japan calls the Senkaku and China calls the Diaoyu. Instead, he said cryptically that it was “important that we all make efforts” so that certain “contingencies can be prevented.” Mr. Hagel and the large American military contingent on hand, including Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Adm. Samuel J. Locklear

Selected press coverage


III, the commander of the United States Pacific Command, spent their time shuttling from delegation to delegation to make sure those contingencies did not come up. “Any good teacher knows that you want to get the kids to behave in the first place, rather than try to referee a dispute that breaks out,” said Andrew L. Oros, an associate professor of political science at Washington College in Chestertown, Md., and a specialist on East Asia. But showing how deep some of the enmity runs, a Chinese officer in the audience took Mr. Abe to task for his visit last year to the Yasukuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, including several war criminals who were executed after Japan’s defeat in World War II. The visit angered China and South Korea, which suffered under Japan’s empire-building efforts in the 20th century, and it annoyed the United States, which issued a statement calling the visit “an action that will exacerbate tensions with Japan’s neighbors.” “Millions of people in China, Korea and many countries in this region have been killed by the Japanese Army,” the Chinese officer said, asking whether Mr. Abe planned to honor them. Mr. Abe spoke of the remorse that Japan felt after World War II. But he added that it was common for world leaders to honor those who fought for their country. While much of the maritime and air disputes go back to ancient territorial claims, the Obama administration may have fanned the tensions with its shift toward Asia, some foreign policy experts said. Many Chinese believe that shift is intended to check China’s rise. “For that reason, you cannot expect China to welcome the alliance system because it doesn’t serve China’s interest,” said Wu Xinbo, the director of the Center for American Studies at Fudan University in Shanghai. China’s president, Xi Jinping, gave a strong hint of his objectives in a speech in Shanghai on May 19, when he outlined a new Asian security strategy that would deliberately exclude the United States, analysts said. “We need to innovate our security concepts, establish a new regional security cooperation architecture and jointly build a shared win-win road for Asian security,” Mr. Xi said at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, a group that includes China, Russia and Asian countries but not the United States, according to the state-run news agency Xinhua. At another conference, in Beijing, Adm. Sun Jianguo, the deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, expanded on Mr. Xi’s ideas, describing the American alliance system as an antiquated relic of the Cold War that should be replaced by an Asia-centric security architecture, participants said. As word filtered through the region about Mr. Xi’s new concept — so far, only sketched in a bare-bones outline — it was referred to as “ ‘Asia for Asians,’ which means China decides as the biggest guy on the block,” said a senior Asian


The Shangri-La Dialogue

diplomat from a country allied with the United States, who declined to be named for fear of alienating China. ©2014, New York Times Reprinted with permission

Washington Post 30 May 2014

Japan’s Abe pledges greater role in Asia-Pacific security, as Chinese power grows By Karen DeYoung SINGAPORE — Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Friday that his country was ready to take a stronger role in collective defense in the Asia-Pacific area and beyond, and made clear that he views China as the most immediate threat to regional stability. “Japan intends to play an even greater and more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain,” Abe told a gathering of East Asian defense ministers and officials, including U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, gathered here for the annual Shangri-La Dialogue on regional security. Abe’s muscular remarks echoed a nationally televised address he made in Japan this month calling for a reinterpretation of Japan’s post-World War II constitution to expand the role of its military to aid allies and in U.N. peacekeeping operations. The use of Japan’s military for anything other than self-defense has been banned since the aftermath of the war, and Abe’s proposed change is controversial there. He said that Japan’s “new banner” would be used to help “ensure the security of the seas and the skies, and thoroughly maintain freedom of navigation and freedom of overflight,” a direct challenge to China’s increasingly confrontational actions in disputed waters of the South China Sea and East China Sea. In recent weeks, China has flown military jets near the Japanese-administered Senkaku islands it claims in the East China Sea and has charged that Japanese fighters have entered a disputed air zone between the two countries. China is also in disputes with its neighbors farther south, including Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia, over nearly all of the South China Sea, with its busy international shipping lanes and rich oil and gas resources. Nearly all those governments have had direct clashes with Beijing; the Philippines has asked the International Court of Justice in The Hague to intervene, and anti-China riots broke out this month in Vietnam after China positioned an oil rig in waters claimed by both countries. The territorial and maritime disputes have stymied U.S. efforts to protect its own economic and defense interests

in the region and to act as an honest broker, even as the Obama administration has called on China to respect international law and other accords it has signed with other Asian countries. “The least-desirable state of affairs is having to fear that coercion and threats will take the place of rules and laws, and that unexpected situations will arise at arbitrary times and places,” Abe said. “We do not welcome” conflict between “fighter aircraft and vessels at sea. What we should exchange are words.” Although many in the region view Abe as uncomfortably hawkish, he was clearly playing to a sympathetic audience of Asia-Pacific states in an increasingly volatile region that fears what it sees as growing Chinese power and North Korean aggression as rapidly growing threats. China has sent a second-tier military delegation to the conference, and Abe’s only applause line of the night came after his response to a Chinese officer who noted Abe’s controversial visit late last year to a shrine honoring Japanese war dead and asked if he had similar good wishes for the souls of the “millions and millions of people in China, Korea and many countries in this region that have been killed by the Japanese Army.” Abe responded that he had expressed remorse for World War II many times and, in a direct dig at China’s communist government, said Japan had subsequently “created a peaceful, free and democratic nation based on that reflection. We protect human rights and respect the law.” Asked whether Japan was willing to submit its maritime disputes with China to independent third-party arbitration called for in international law, he said “that is what China should think about. . . . China is the one challenging the status quo.” “There is no territorial dispute,” Abe said. “Japan effectively controls the islands.” ©2014, Washington Post Reprinted with permission

Straits Times 30 May 2014

Litmus test of ability to keep peace in Asia By Alex Neill ASIA’S security has declined since the last Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, where the focus of Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s opening speech was the strategic trust deficit in the region. Referring to the South China Sea, he warned how single irresponsible actions could lead to the interruption of trade flows, ultimately damaging the global economy. He quoted a Vietnamese saying: “If trust is lost, all is lost.”

One year on, these words are particularly ironic in the wake of the dramatic escalation between Vietnam and China triggered by the arrival of a Chinese oil rig in the disputed waters of the South China Sea. A wave of lethal anti-Chinese sentiment has spread through Vietnam. Prime Minister Dung is threatening to take defensive measures, including legal action against China. Miscalculation, it seems, remains a major danger for big and small powers alike. The 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue convenes in Singapore over this weekend amid mounting uncertainty over the security of the Asia-Pacific region and the ability of regional powers to curb this downward spiral. Tensions are running high on the Korean peninsula, where North Korea is reportedly making preparations for a new nuclear test. Friction between China and Japan in the East China Sea spiked six months ago and now confrontation in the South China Sea has once again returned to the headlines. During preparatory discussions held in Singapore in January, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen pointed out that nationalist ambitions, progressive military modernisation and dynamic changes in power relations form the backdrop to recent events in Asia. Recent changes to Japan’s national security strategy, for instance, are an acknowledgement that in recent years the security environment around Japan has changed dramatically. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s keynote address tonight at the Shangri-La Dialogue will be studied by leaders, policymakers and commentators seeking an understanding of tectonic shifts in geopolitics and how the security environment will be affected. Mr Abe may seek to articulate his plans for a more muscular defence policy, supported by new Japanese legislation enabling Japan to contribute more to international security. Mr Abe may also elaborate on why he is pursuing changes to Japan’s Constitution to allow “collective selfdefence” - essentially the right to use force in defence of an ally (the United States) under attack. Mr Abe’s national security overhaul has generated deep suspicion in China, aggravated by having top leaders in Japan continuing to visit the Yasukuni Shrine where some of Japan’s most infamous war criminals are interred. At the heart of the matter, however, are the enduring Japan-US alliance, the military element of the US rebalancing policy to Asia, and China’s growing military clout. Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, has developed his own vision for the security of Asia, incorporated into the “China Dream”. Earlier this month in Shanghai, at the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia, Mr Xi scorned “Cold War thinking” and “zero-sum game” mentality. Calling for a new regional security architecture, Mr Xi stated that: “A military alliance which is targeted at a

Selected press coverage


third party is not conducive to common regional security.” Notably he called for security problems in Asia to be solved by Asians through cooperation. China’s participation at the Shangri-La Dialogue will inevitably reflect this vision. US President Barack Obama last month concluded a week-long four-country tour of Asia in an effort to buttress the US rebalance to Asia. He did not visit China. At the close of his trip in the Philippines, Mr Obama emphasised iron-clad resolve to resist “external aggression” and threats to freedom of navigation. China’s template for regional security is effectively one stripped of America’s involvement, encompassed in Mr Xi’s latest dictum: “Asian solutions to Asian problems.” The view of many regional states, however, is the complete opposite. It is one that envisages the United States continuing its long-held role as a guarantor of security in Asia in the absence of any credibly promising indigenous alternatives, such as Asean+3 for example. The underlying concern of this year’s dialogue will be mounting dissatisfaction at the inadequacy of regional mechanisms to address increasingly palpable threats to regional security. All five plenary sessions have been designed to encourage discussion of strategic restraint, to foster greater cooperation among the armed forces of the region and to promote better awareness of the management of escalation. This year’s Shangri-La Dialogue will therefore serve as a litmus test in assessing the capacity of Asia-Pacific players to halt the deterioration of regional security that we have witnessed over the last 12 months. ©2014, Straits Times Reprinted with permission

South China Morning Post 30 May 2014

Abe accused of using sea tensions to beef up military By Kristine Kwok A senior Chinese official yesterday accused Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of exploiting the territorial dispute in the East China Sea to amend the country’s security policy. In an apparent attempt to pre-empt Abe’s own speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue, former deputy foreign minister Fu Ying told a special panel on the sidelines of the annual forum in Singapore that Abe’s denial of Japan’s history would intensify concerns at the direction in which he was taking the country. “My observation is that after he came to office he didn’t show interest addressing the Diaoyu Islands dispute. Instead he has made it into a bigger issue - that is, China as


The Shangri-La Dialogue

a country is posing a threat to Japan as a country,” said Fu, now chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress. “He has made such a myth. And with that as an excuse, he is amending the security policy of Japan. That’s worrying for the region and for China.” The Diaoyu Islands are claimed by mainland China, Taiwan and Japan, which calls them the Senkaku Islands. Fu’s comments were widely seen as a response to Abe’s call during the forum, which brings together senior defence officials across the region, for a greater regional security role for Japan. Fu was speaking ahead of Abe’s keynote speech at a special debate on the forum’s sidelines. Her fellow panellists included US Senator Ben Cardin, Singapore ambassadorat-large Tommy Koh and Indian politician Tarun Vijay. She also suggested that America’s involvement in recent tensions between China and Vietnam over the South China Sea was unnecessary. After Cardin raised the issue of China’s unilateral move to position a giant oil rig in disputed waters off Vietnam’s coast, Fu said Beijing and Hanoi would resolve the dispute bilaterally. “I don’t think Ben can go there and solve the problem for us,” she said. With tensions over maritime disputes between China and its neighbours continuing, discussions at the three-day forum are expected to be focused on Beijing’s increasingly assertive approach in the region. Beijing said it would promote its own security theory in Asia at the forum. The Chinese delegation was headed by Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong , deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. ©2014, South China Morning Post Reprinted with permission

IISS Voices 31 May 2014

Asian Defence Budget Transparency By Giri Rajendran In his keynote address to the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue yesterday, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used the opportunity to urge the region to become more transparent about its defence expenditure, as a first step to rein in ‘disproportionate’ spending on ‘military expansion.’ He called for greater transparency in regional defence budgets through disclosure under a revitalised East Asia Summit: ‘a framework, under which we publicly disclose our military budgets step by step that enables us to cross-check each

other, is a system that we should seek to establish as we extend the scope of the East Asia Summit’. While it is true that Asian states have rapidly increased their defence outlays in recent years, there is little evidence that these increments have been disproportionate. For example, although nominal Asian defence spending has risen by more than one-fifth since 2010 – from $262bn in 2010 to $322bn in 2013, overtaking NATO European defence outlays in the process – these increases have broadly matched overall economic growth rates across the region over the same period. As such, defence spending as a proportion of regional GDP has stayed roughly constant since 2010, at around 1.4% of Asian GDP. This is one of the lowest proportions of GDP allocated to defence of any region in the world – only Latin America allocates appreciably less than this (as a proportion of GDP) to its armed forces. Mr Abe nevertheless highlighted a salient point: the transparency of defence spending is where the worries lie. Many states in Asia only release highly-aggregated, topline defence budget figures, which give little indication as to the breakdown distribution of funding between the main service arms (i.e. between land, naval and air forces, as well as perhaps joint and strategic forces) or between different functional aspects of defence spending (such as personnel, operations & maintenance, research & development and equipment procurement spending). In a 2011 Transparency International study of defence budgeting transparency worldwide, three Asian states were ranked in the lowest possible category: Cambodia, China and Pakistan. They were reported to provide little or no defence-related budget information to the public, as well as having poor budget oversight laws, undefined defence budgeting process and significant off-budget military expenditure. Of these states, China is clearly the most significant, given that it has the largest defence budget in Asia – it spends more on defence than Japan, South Korea and Taiwan combined – and is the second largest defence spender globally. Chinese defence spending opacity is particularly illustrative when compared with the other billion-people economic powerhouse of Asia, India, whose annual defence budget release contains detailed spending breakdowns categorised by service and function that run into hundreds of lines. Many other states around the world produce multi-year defence budget forecasts, and even if these are adjusted over time, they provide a degree of stability and certainty over the state’s underlying priorities. It is in this context that Prime Minister Abe’s remarks are potentially significant. Others have called for increased transparency in recent years, without success. Indeed, a decreasing number of Asian states subscribe to existing transparency measures, for instance through engagement with the UN Register of Conventional Arms. If Mr Abe’s call marks a renewed push to boost defence-budgeting transparency across the region and to create a mechanism

for defining, evaluating and perhaps even monitoring defence outlays, this would provide an important confidence-building measure that is likely to serve the region well in the long run. The uneven levels of transparency in Asia inevitably results in uncertainty and suspicion over military intentions and aspirations. Defence-budget opacity is more likely than transparency to encourage planning on the basis of worst-case scenarios.

IISS Voices 31 May 2014

Abe’s keynote - the domestic context By Jens Wardenaer In his keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday evening, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe laid out his vision for improved regional security. Abe focused on the primacy of the rule of law (a phrase he repeated often, in a not-so-subtle rebuke to China), and a ‘proactive contribution to peace’, meaning an increased role for Japan in regional peace and security issues. Abe said Japan would offer its ‘utmost support’ for ASEAN members’ efforts ‘to ensure the security of the sea and skies’ through development assistance, capacity building and defence equipment and technology cooperation. He also called for an enhanced role for the East Asia Forum, beginning with a permanent committee consisting of permanent representatives to ASEAN. But a key component of the proactive contribution to peace — collective self-defence (CSD) — is controversial at home as well as in China. Currently, Abe’s main security policy goal is to have the 1947 constitution reinterpreted so as to allow the right to collective self-defence. This right is currently prevented by successive Japanese governments’ interpretations of CSD as inadmissible under Article 9 of the constitution, which renounces war as a sovereign right of the nation. While a reinterpretation falls short of amending the constitution, which is advocated by Japanese hawks, it faces considerable opposition in Japan, including in Abe’s own ruling coalition. In a reference to the Buddhist pacifist party New Komeito (NKP), Abe said that he was consulting with coalition parties on the matter. NKP holds that constitutional reinterpretation is not enough to allow CSD - though it recognises that a separate change to the interpretation on ‘grey zone issues’ may be needed to allow the Self-Defense Forces to act against foreign combatants disguised as civilians who threaten Japanese interests. Currently, only the police or coast guard are allowed to respond to such a contingency. Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) sees

Selected press coverage


potential agreement on this issue as a step towards a coalition agreement on CSD. Japanese delegates felt the speech would generally play well in Japan, but pointed out that Abe’s occasional use of language more common a few generations ago suggested a certain nostalgia which may or may not resonate with the public. This nostalgia was also present in Abe’s reference to a type of ‘new Japanese’ - to be fostered by his ‘Abenomics’ set of economic policies - who are in fact little different from their fathers and grandfathers, and who have ‘lost none of the good qualities of the Japanese of days gone by’ in their contributions and commitment to peace and prosperity in Asia. Pacifism indeed remains strong among the Japanese public. A 26 May poll in the Nihon Keizai Shinbun saw 28% agree and 51% disagree with reinterpreting the constitution to enable collective self-defence, just two days after a close encounter between Chinese and Japanese jets over the East China Sea. This further highlights the challenge the Abe administration faces in convincing its domestic audience, in addition to sections of the international community. Abe will have to spend much of the political capital earned by the apparent success of Abenomics in order to reform Japan’s security policy. He is likely to do so.

New York Times 31 May 2014

China Accuses U.S. and Japan of Incitement By Helene Cooper SINGAPORE — China struck back harshly at the United States and Japan on Saturday, as a senior Chinese military official accused Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan of acting in concert to sow controversy and division in the Asia-Pacific region. Speaking to reporters at a conference here of senior military officials from around the region, Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, the deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army, characterized a speech on Saturday morning by Mr. Hagel, which followed one by Mr. Abe on Friday night, as “full of threats and intimidating language,” according to Chinese news media outlets. General Wang seemed especially annoyed that Mr. Hagel, who accused China of coercive tactics in its many maritime disputes with its neighbors, had made his accusations at a conference about regional cooperation. “Secretary Hagel, in this kind of public space with many people, openly criticized China without reason,” General Wang said. “Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of encouragement, incitement for the Asia region’s instability giving rise to a disturbance.”


The Shangri-La Dialogue

General Wang also criticized Mr. Abe’s speech, which contained several veiled criticisms of China. He said that Mr. Hagel and Mr. Abe appeared to be “singing in duet.” “Over all these years, China has never actively provoked an incident over matters of Chinese sovereignty, territory and maritime boundaries,” the general said. “It’s always been other parties concerned taking the initiative to provoke trouble, and then the Chinese government has had no choice but to respond.” China’s official Xinhua news agency joined the fray, accusing the United States of “trying to practice its approach of ensuring the safety of its allies by maintaining its military dominance.” The United States has been at odds with China over several air and maritime disputes in the East China Sea and the South China Sea. General Wang and Mr. Hagel met briefly Saturday afternoon. A senior Defense Department official said they had discussed the friction between China and Vietnam over an oil rig that China has placed in disputed waters. The official characterized the meeting’s tone as cordial. ©2014, New York Times Reprinted with permission

Wall Street Journal 31 May 2014

Asian, U.S. Military Chiefs Raise Criticism of China Hagel Accuses Beijing of ‘Destabilizing Unilateral Actions’ By Trefor Moss, Julian E. Barnes and Chun Han Wong SINGAPORE—Military leaders from the U.S. and parts of Asia escalated their criticism of China at a major international security summit Saturday, as regional opinion appeared to coalesce against Beijing’s perceived role in stoking tensions over disputed territories in the East and South China Seas. A major question hanging over the annual Shangri-La Dialogue security conference, however, was whether such criticism would influence Chinese behavior and help cool regional tensions, or inflame them more. Chinese officials were quick to challenge the chiding from U.S. and other Asia-Pacific countries, while some security experts at the conference doubted the rising chorus of complaints would be sufficient to alter China’s course. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel led off the barrage with a speech that accused China of undertaking “destabilizing, unilateral actions” in the South China Sea and undermining the rule of law after it deployed a deep-sea oil-drilling platform in waters claimed by Hanoi.

China has defended the move, along with other contested actions in the East and South China Seas, as normal activities in areas it considers its own territory. Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III, the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command, told The Wall Street Journal after Mr. Hagel’s remarks that China needs to change its approach to dealing with regional disputes, especially as territorial confrontations are likely to become more frequent in the hotly contested Asia-Pacific. Chinese leaders “will have to make a decision on how they will help the region, and help lead the region through these issues,” rather than posing challenges to regional stability, he said. “The path they’re on, dealing with [territorial disputes] now, is not productive for the region.” Other defense chiefs piled on, a day after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe used a speech at the Dialogue to denounce what he called unilateral efforts to alter the strategic status quo in Asia, in remarks clearly aimed at China. Australian Defense Minister David Johnston told delegates Saturday that his country shares “serious concerns” over recent developments in the South China Sea “which have served to raise tensions and temperature in that region,” though he didn’t explicitly target Beijing in his speech. Vietnamese Defense Minister Gen. Phung Quang Thanh meanwhile rapped China for allegedly acting outside of international law by placing its oil-drilling platform in waters that Hanoi claims. “Vietnam has exercised utmost restraint,” and is seeking “high-level” talks with Beijing to resolve their differences, said Gen. Thanh, adding that Hanoi could seek international legal recourse against China should peaceful dialogue fail to produce results. China didn’t send top-level defense officials to the Shangri-La gathering. But the ones who did attend, including English-speaking academics and People’s Liberation Army officers, returned the criticism in kind. Major General Zhu Chenghu told The Wall Street Journal that the charges of destabilizing actions by China were “groundless” and that “the Americans are making very, very important strategic mistakes right now” in their approach to dealing with China. Gen. Zhu, who is a professor at China’s National Defense University, accused Mr. Hagel of hypocrisy in his assessment of the region’s security landscape, suggesting that in his view “whatever the Chinese do is illegal, and whatever the Americans do is right.” The “Chinese are not so stupid” as to believe that Washington wants to work with China, or that the U.S. government is truly neutral when it comes to territorial disputes between China and American allies, he said. “If you take China as an enemy, China will absolutely become the enemy of the U.S.,” he warned. Gen. Zhu’s comments were echoed during a spirited question and answer session following Mr. Hagel’s speech. Major General Yao Yunzhu of the Chinese People’s

Liberation Army questioned America’s repeated claim that it doesn’t take sides in territorial disputes, asking how that can be true when the U.S. also claims that disputed islands in the East China Sea are covered by a U.S. treaty with Japan. She said the fact that the U.S. claims its defense treaties cover disputed matters amounts to a “threat of force, coercion or intimidation.” Mr. Hagel rejected her contention that the U.S. was taking sides and said China was trying to resolve disputes in the wrong way, through force. China’s forceful rebuttal was a sign to some experts that it has no intention of backing down from its claims in the region, even as criticism of its actions widens. It has shown no indication it intends to remove its disputed oil rig until it completes drilling in the area. The criticism “doesn’t deter China at all,” said Ian Storey, a senior fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore. “China seems more willing to absorb the reputational costs” as it becomes more powerful, he said. Another analyst, who asked not to be named for fear of offending China, said that the Chinese delegates’ expressions of anger at Mr. Hagel’s remarks should not necessarily be taken at face value. “It’s hard to tell what is real and what is theater,” he suggested. Nevertheless, he said it was remarkable how much other countries’ impressions of China had shifted in the space of just a few years. “You could say now that they’re behaving more like a great power—they’re behaving with a sense of entitlement, a sense of exceptionalism—the way the Americans have done, and the British before them—as if the rules don’t apply to them.” In advance of the Dialogue, U.S. officials say they heard from a variety of allies in the region that were hoping to hear strong American statements about China’s actions. The statements Saturday by U.S. officials were considered to be markedly stronger than even a few weeks ago, when Gen. Fang Fenghui, chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, visited the Pentagon. U.S. statements from Mr. Hagel, Adm. Locklear and others appear to have been more sharply-worded than Beijing anticipated. At a meeting with Mr. Hagel Saturday, Lt. Gen Wang Guanzhong, Beijing’s highest-ranking official at the Singapore event, said the comments were “more candid than our expectations,” according to an official in attendance. Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based think tank, said it would be wrong to conclude that U.S.-China relations were heading for a crisis simply because of some sniping at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue. “There is an understanding between the U.S. and China that doesn’t seem to be appreciated by many of the countries here, that where we have differences we do not allow them to spill over into other issues. Our leaders recognize what’s at stake,” she said.

Selected press coverage


Nevertheless, one U.S. defense official in Singapore described the Dialogue as a “coalescing event” and a chance for the U.S. to lay out its vision for Asian security, show allies it would stand up for them, and make the case for a continuation of the post-World War II order established by the U.S. through which it helps maintain security across the region. U.S. officials hope that China’s actions in the South China Sea—along with what some see as China’s continued aggressive language on Saturday—will push America’s allies to increase ties with each other and smaller nations to seek stronger ties with the U.S. A recent agreement between Washington and Manila to expand the presence of U.S. forces there—as well as Vietnam’s apparent willingness to work more closely with American forces—were cited throughout the weekend by U.S. defense officials as examples of how the U.S. was working to strengthen partnerships in the region. But U.S. defense officials said on Saturday that China’s actions so far haven’t been provocative enough to overcome the historical suspicions that hamper ties between South Korea and Japan, which remain at odds with one another over unresolved issues dating back to World War II. Officials on Saturday continued to press South Korea to work more closely with the U.S. and Japan on missile defense and some joint exercises. Nevertheless, the officials said they are under no illusions there will be more than baby steps in working toward multilateral defense issues— in the absence of a larger miscalculation by China that worries America’s Asian partners more. ©2014, Wall Street Journal Reprinted with permission

AP 31 May 2014

Hagel: China territorial claims destabilize region By Lolita C. Baldor SINGAPORE (AP) — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned an international security conference Saturday that the U.S. “will not look the other way” when nations such as China try to restrict navigation or ignore international rules and standards. China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea are destabilizing the region, and its failure to resolve disputes with other nations threatens East Asia’s long-term progress, Hagel said. For the second year in a row, Hagel used the podium at the Shangri-La conference to call out China for cyberspying against the U.S. While this has been a persistent complaint by the U.S., his remark came less than two weeks after the


The Shangri-La Dialogue

U.S. charged five Chinese military officers with hacking into American companies to steal trade secrets. The Chinese, in response, suspended participation in a U.S.-China Cyber Working Group, and released a report that said the U.S. is conducting unscrupulous cyber espionage and that China is a major target. Noting the suspension, Hagel in his speech said the U.S. will continue to raise cyber issues with the Chinese, “because dialogue is essential for reducing the risk of miscalculation and escalation in cyberspace.” In a string of remarks aimed directly at China, Hagel said the U.S. opposes any nation’s use of intimidation or threat of force to assert territorial claims. “All nations of the region, including China, have a choice: to unite, and recommit to a stable regional order, or, to walk away from that commitment and risk the peace and security that has benefited millions of people throughout the Asia-Pacific, and billions around the world,” he said. China and Japan have been at odds over uninhabited islands in the East China Sea that are controlled by Japan but claimed by both. The U.S. has declined to take sides on the sovereignty issue but has made clear it has a treaty obligation to support Japan. And the U.S. has also refused to recognize China’s declaration of an air defense zone over a large swath of the East China Sea, including the disputed islands. U.S. officials have raised concerns about Beijing’s decision to plant an oil rig in part of the South China Sea also claimed by Vietnam. The move has led to a series of clashes between the two nations in the waters around the rig, including the recent sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat. Chinese leaders, however, has been equally strong in defending their actions, and have blamed the Obama administration’s new focus on Asia for emboldening some of the territorial disputes. But some Asian leaders have expressed worries that the U.S. is doing little more than paying lip service to the complaints, fueling doubts about America’s commitment to the region. In an effort to tamp down those concerns, Hagel also used his speech to reassure Asia-Pacific nations that despite persistent budget woes and increasing demands for military aid across Africa and Europe, the U.S. remains strongly committed to Asia. Allies in the Asia Pacific have questioned how serious the U.S. is about its so-called pivot to Asia, particularly as the recent unrest in Ukraine and terror threats in north Africa have garnered more attention. And President Barack Obama’s national security speech earlier this week made no mention of the Asia Pacific. “The rebalance is not a goal, promise or a vision – it is a reality,” Hagel said, laying out a long list of moves the U.S. has made to increase troops, ships and military assets in the region, provide missile defense systems to Japan, sell

sophisticated drones and other aircraft to Korea, and expand defense cooperation with Australia, New Zealand and India. He said the U.S. plans to increase foreign military financing by 35 percent and military education and training by 40 percent by 2016. Urging nations to work together to resolve their disputes, Hagel said the U.S. is also continuing to reach out to China. Despite persistent differences, Washington and Beijing have been trying to improve their military relations, expand communications between their forces and conduct joint exercises. “Continued progress throughout the Asia-Pacific is achievable, but hardly inevitable,” Hagel told the crowded room at the Shangri-La Dialogue. “The security and prosperity we have enjoyed for decades cannot be assured unless all our nations have the wisdom, vision, and will to work together to address these challenges.” ©2014, AP Reprinted with permission

Reuters 31 May 2014

U.S. and China square off at Asia security forum By David Brunnstrom and Lee Chyen Yee The United States and China squared off at an Asian security forum on Saturday, with the U.S. defense secretary accusing Beijing of destabilizing the region and a top Chinese general retorting that his comments were “threat and intimidation”. Using unusually strong language, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took aim at Beijing’s handling of territorial disputes with its Asian neighbors. “In recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” Hagel said. He warned Beijing that the United States was committed to its geopolitical rebalance to the Asia-Pacific region and “will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged”. Hagel said the United States took no position on the merits of rival territorial claims in the region, but added: “We firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims.” His speech at Singapore’s Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia biggest security forum, provoked an angry reaction from the deputy chief of staff of the Chinese Army, LieutenantGeneral Wang Guanzhong. “I felt that Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of hegemonism, threat and intimidation,” he told reporters just after the speech.

Wang said the speech was aimed at causing trouble in the Asia-Pacific. Hagel’s comments followed the keynote address by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the same forum on Friday evening, who pledged “utmost support” to Southeast Asian countries, several of which are locked in maritime disputes with China. “I felt that they were just trying to echo each other,” Wang said. Hagel later held a bilateral meeting with Wang, where the Chinese military leader expressed his surprise at the U.S. defense secretary’s speech. “You were very candid this morning, and to be frank, more than our expectations,” he said. “Although I do think those criticisms are groundless, I do appreciate your candor … likewise we will also share our candor.” A senior U.S. defense official said that, despite Wang’s opening remarks, the tone of the meeting had been “businesslike and fairly amicable”. While Hagel went over ground he covered in his speech, Wang spent most of the meeting talking about U.S.-China military-to-military contacts, including Chinese participation in forthcoming military exercises, the official said. The U.S. official said Hagel’s speech had been well received by other Asian delegations with the exception of China. Only if provoked In Beijing, President Xi Jinping said China would not initiate aggressive action in the South China Sea but would respond if others did, the official Xinhua news agency reported. “We will never stir up trouble, but will react in the necessary way to the provocations of countries involved,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying in a meeting on Friday with Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia. China claims almost the entire oil- and gas-rich South China Seas, and dismisses competing claims from Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. Japan also has a territorial row with China over islands in the East China Sea. Tensions have surged in recent weeks after China placed an oil rig in waters claimed by Vietnam, and the Philippines said Beijing could be building an airstrip on a disputed island. Japan’s defense ministry said Chinese SU-27 fighters came as close as 50 meters (170 ft) to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane near disputed islets last week and within 30 metres of a YS-11EB electronic intelligence aircraft. Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said Tokyo perceived an “increasingly severe regional security environment”. “It is unfortunate that there are security concerns in the East and South China Seas,” he said. “Japan as well as all concerned parties must uphold the rule of law and never attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force.” On Friday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pitched his plan for Japan to take on a bigger international security role

Selected press coverage


and told the Singapore forum that Tokyo would offer its “utmost support” to Southeast Asian countries in their efforts to protect their seas and airspace. In a pointed dig at China, he said Japan would provide coastguard patrol boats to the Philippines and Vietnam. Japan offer snubbed Wang, China’s deputy chief of staff, also snubbed an offer for talks with Japan made by Defence Minister Onodera, the semi-official China News Service said. “This will hinge on whether the Japanese side is willing to amend the erroneous policy towards China and improve relations between China and Japan,” he said. “Japan should correct its mistakes as soon as possible to improve China-Japan ties.” The strong comments at the Shangri-La Dialogue come as Abe pursues a controversial push to ease restrictions of the post-war, pacifist constitution that has kept Japan’s military from fighting overseas since World War Two. Despite memories of Japan’s harsh wartime occupation of much of Southeast Asia, several countries in the region may view Abe’s message favorably because of China’s increasing assertiveness. Hagel repeatedly stressed Obama’s commitment to the Asia-Pacific rebalance and said the strong U.S. military presence in the region would endure. “To ensure that the rebalance is fully implemented, both President Obama and I remain committed to ensuring that any reductions in U.S. defense spending do not come at the expense of America’s commitments in the Asia-Pacific,” he said. ©2014, Reuters Reprinted with permission

Bloomberg 31 May 2014

Hagel Says China’s Actions in South China Sea Destabilizing By Gopal Ratnam, Sharon Chen and Isabel Reynolds U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel today spelled out a series of Chinese actions in parts of the disputed South China Sea and said they were destabilizing the region, drawing a rebuke from a Chinese General. While China has said it wants a “sea of peace, friendship and cooperation,” in recent months it “has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” Hagel said in prepared remarks at the annual Shangri-La security conference in Singapore. “It has restricted access to the Scarborough Reef; put pressure on the long-standing Philippine presence at the Second Thomas Shoal; begun land reclamation activities at multiple locations; and moved an oil rig into disputed


The Shangri-La Dialogue

waters near the Paracel Islands” off the coast of Vietnam, Hagel said, listing for the first time Chinese infractions in the region that are alarming Southeast Asian nations. The stepped-up U.S. comments follow Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s appeal for a “stronger voice” from the U.S. against China after clashes between coast guard vessels near the rig placed in contested waters. The Philippines, dwarfed militarily by China, has sought support from the U.S. and the United Nations to counter China’s encroachment into shoals off its coast. Under President Xi Jinping, China has taken a more assertive approach to its territorial claims. During a visit to Beijing in April, Hagel was told by his counterpart, General Chang Wanquan, that China would make “no compromise, no concessions” in disputes with Japan and the Philippines. International Order In Singapore today, Hagel said the U.S. “will not look the other way when fundamental principles of international order are being challenged” including moves by China to restrict overflight or freedom of navigation. U.S.-China military ties have been tested after the U.S. Justice Department indicted five Chinese military officials on charges of economic espionage linked to computer hacking of U.S. nuclear power, metals and solar companies. China has suspended the U.S.-China Cyber Working Group. Even so, “we will continue to raise cyber issues with our Chinese counterparts, because dialogue is essential for reducing the risk of miscalculation and escalation in cyberspace,” Hagel said. Taking questions after his speech, Hagel was quizzed by Major-General Yao Yunzhu, director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations at the Academy of Military Science within the People’s Liberation Army, about the U.S. stance over East China Sea islands claimed by both China and Japan. Yao asked if recent U.S. statements about the islands being covered by its defense treaty with Japan were a threat of coercion or intimidation. ‘Position Clear’ “I thought I made America’s position clear in my remarks about the position we take on disputed territories,” Hagel replied. “In fact, I think I repeated our position a number of times.” Hagel later met Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, the deputy chief of general staff of the PLA, who told Hagel his criticism was “groundless” and said the U.S. defense secretary had been “very candid” in his speech. Speaking separately on China Central Television, Wang said Hagel had “openly pointed” his finger at China in a public setting, according to a summary posted on CCTV’s website. “Secretary Hagel’s speech is full of American hegemony; secondly, it’s full of threats and intimidation; thirdly, it’s full of instigation and incitement, aimed at provoking restless elements in the Asian-Pacific region to stir up trouble.”

Hagel-Abe ‘Duet’ Wang also criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Abe has accused China of trying to change the status quo by force, and in a speech at the forum yesterday set out his policy to broaden the role of Japan’s defense force to be able to come to the aid of allies. “I feel they’re echoing each other and sang a duet,” Wang said of Hagel and Abe, according to CCTV. “We can see from the Shangri-La Dialogue this year, it’s Japan and the U.S. who stirred up conflict.” Singapore defense minister Ng Eng Hen told reporters he would rather have sessions at the forum that dealt with the issues “than have token sessions where it’s just motherhood statements and there isn’t direct identification of issues and then we assume that we have had a conference.” Alongside its dispute with Japan in the East China Sea, China claims much of the South China Sea under its “ninedash line” map, first published in 1947. The map extends hundreds of miles south from China’s Hainan Island to equatorial waters off the coast of Borneo, taking in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines also claim parts of the sea. Vietnam Options “Japan will offer its utmost support for the efforts of the countries of Asean as they work to ensure the security of the seas and the skies,” Abe said in his speech yesterday at the forum, referring to the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Vietnam has prepared evidence for a lawsuit challenging China’s claim and is considering the best time to file it, Dung said yesterday in an interview. If open conflict were to erupt in the South China Sea, “there will be no victor,” Dung warned. “Everyone will lose,” he said. “The whole world economy will be hurt and damaged immeasurably.” Vietnamese Defense Minister Phung Quang Thanh said today he has contacted the deputy chair of the military commission of China as Vietnam seeks to communicate with China over the oil rig dispute. “I hope that in the coming days leaders of the two countries can meet and discuss these disputes,” Thanh said at the Singapore forum. “We still have room for peaceful dialogue.” The legal avenue, he said, would be a “last resort.” Malaysia Worries Malaysia Defense Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said he is increasingly concerned about tensions in the waters. “Inflamed rhetoric and mutual recrimination will not do any country any good,” he told the forum in Singapore. World War 1, he said, “was started by sheer accident. That we must avoid for our region as the world focuses in this area.” Vietnam said China rammed one of its fishing boats on May 26 near the oil rig. The sinking happened two days after Chinese fighter jets flew within tens of meters of Japanese surveillance planes in the East China Sea.

China blamed the boat-sinking on Vietnam and accused Japan of infringing on a no-fly zone it set up for its first bilateral naval exercises with Russia in the East China Sea. U.S. Rebalancing Japanese and Chinese coast guard vessels have tailed one another around the uninhabited islands, known as Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China, since Japan bought three of them from a private Japanese owner late in 2012. Abe has not held a summit with China since taking office almost 18 months ago. Two Chinese ships briefly entered Japanese controlled waters this morning near the islands, according to Japan’s Coast Guard. While the U.S. has repeatedly said its obligation to defend Japan extends to the disputed islands, U.S. President Barack Obama said in a speech on defense policy this week that the armed forces can’t be “the primary component of our leadership.” Hagel today repeated the U.S. pledge to its strategic and economic rebalancing to Asia even as crises in Europe and the Middle East capture America’s attention. The U.S. remains “committed to ensuring that any reductions in U.S. defense spending do not come at the expense of America’s commitments in the Asia-Pacific,” Hagel said. “The rebalance is not a goal, promise, or a vision – it is a reality.” ©2014, Bloomberg Reprinted with permission

AFP 31 May 2014

Japan plans more proactive role in Asian security SINGAPORE: Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed on Friday that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia, and called for the rule of law to be upheld in the region. Laying out a vision of Tokyo as a counterweight to the growing might of China, Abe offered Japan’s help to regional partners “to ensure security of the seas and skies”. He said Japan and the United States stood ready to bolster security cooperation with Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). “Japan intends to play an even greater and more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain,” he said in a keynote speech at an annual Asia security forum in Singapore. Abe said Japan will provide 10 new coast guard patrol ships to Philippines, which has one of Asia’s most poorly equipped security forces. He said three such vessels have already been provided to Indonesia and Vietnam may receive similar assistance.

Selected press coverage


Abe delivered his speech as tensions simmer over territorial disputes, involving China and some Southeast Asian states in the South China Sea as well as between Tokyo and Beijing in the East China Sea. Beijing claims almost all of the South China Sea, even waters approaching the shores of neighbouring countries, and has become more aggressive in enforcing what it says are its historical rights. In the latest tensions, Vietnam on Thursday accused Chinese war ships of pointing their weapons at Vietnamese vessels during an escalating standoff near an oil rig in contested waters in the South China Sea. The Philippines has also faced increasingly tense disputes with China for control of islets and reefs in the sea. In one high-profile incident in 2012, the Philippines lost control of a rich fishing ground 220 kilometres (135 miles) off its main island to China after a standoff. China is also in dispute with Japan over islands in the East Sea, which Tokyo calls Senkaku and Beijing refers to as Diaoyu. Tokyo has control over the outcrops. On May 25, Japan accused China of “dangerous” manoeuvres in the area after a Chinese fighter flew within roughly 30 metres (100 feet) of a Japanese military aircraft. “We do not welcome dangerous encounters by fighter aircraft and vessels at sea,” Abe said, reiterating a call for both countries to establish a maritime and air communication mechanism in order to prevent unexpected situations. Abe repeatedly used the phrase “rule of law” during his speech, urging nations to respect international norms in dealing with territorial rows, avoiding coercion in enforcing claims and settling disputes by peaceful means. “I urge all of us who live in Asia and the Pacific to each individually uphold these three principles exhaustively,” he said at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a security forum involving defence chiefs, military officials and security experts. “Movement to consolidate changes to the status quo by aggregating one fait accompli after another can only be strongly condemned as something that contravenes the spirit of these three principles,” he said, without mentioning any country. Abe told the forum that talks were under way in his country about Japan’s pacifist armed forces taking on a more pro-active role in security. US defence secretary Chuck Hagel told Abe during bilateral talks on the sidelines in Singapore that he welcomed the initiative, Japan’s Jiji Press news agency reported. Japan’s Self Defence Forces have not fired a shot in battle since a battered and broken country surrendered in 1945, accepting a US-led occupation that would last until 1952. Its once-huge armed forces were emasculated, stripped by the foreign-imposed constitution of the right to wage war and restricted to a defensive role. Speaking ahead of Abe on the sidelines of the Singapore meeting, Fu Ying, the head of the foreign affairs committee of


The Shangri-La Dialogue

China’s parliament, said the Japanese leader did not appear “to show any interest in addressing” their bilateral dispute. Fu said Abe was trying to use the dispute as an excuse to “amend the security policy of Japan”, adding that this is “what is worrying to the region, and for China”. ©2014, AFP Reprinted with permission

Xinhua 31 May 2014

News Analysis: Asian security calls for mindset change SINGAPORE - Some of the nations need to change their mindset on national and regional security in Asia, based on the approach revealed by the speeches of national leaders and defense chiefs at the ongoing Shangri-La Dialogue. Finger pointing at China is no longer surprising at the regional security forum. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a speech full of innuendoes that attempt to put cosmetic make-ups on his dream of reviving the militarist glory of Japan in the past. The United States Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke on “the contribution of the United States to regional stability” on Saturday. He openly blamed China for what he called unilateral actions, despite that China has said that it has had to respond to provocations from some of the countries. The United States has in the past called for efforts to “ safeguard freedom of navigation and respect for international law. “ But behind the rhetoric is a unilateral approach that is in line with the United States security philosophy. The philosophy is evident in Asia where the United States has been trying to practice its approach of ensuring the safety of its allies by maintaining its military dominance. It even adopted the strategy of stoking fires to do this, with the influence felt and visibly seen behind the tensions on the South China Sea. “The United States strategy is to create trouble for you in your neighborhood,” said Huang Jing, director of the Institute on Asia and Globolization, National University of Singapore. However, he said that China should not allow itself to be swayed in its pursuit of peaceful development. The freedom of navigation has never been a problem and China has all the due respect for international law and the spirit of cooperative management inherent in the body of international laws. In particular, China has ratified the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas, whereas the United States has not. Its advocacy of managing the disputes in accordance with international codes and resolving the disputes through bilateral diplomacy and dialogue is also consistent with the spirit of international law.

The basic flaw in US approach of “I have to be the strongest to be safe”is that it inevitably leads to concerns and responses from other countries, and tensions ensue. Japan adopts a similar approach. Abe even tries to revise the post-war pacifist constitution and conjure up the militarist past in his attempt to reinvigorate Japan. This should be cause for concern. Eventually it will lead to losses for all the Asian countries. In an era of regional integration, it calls for a change in mindset to maintain regional security. Cooperative security for all is the only way out. The existence of nontraditional security threats and traditional security threats also means that the approach to regional security should be comprehensive. Nations beyond the region are welcome to contribute to regional security, but their contributions should be positive. It calls for a similar change in mindset to manage the disputes on the seas. While China’s claim is by no means weaker than some of its neighbors, it is naive to think that the sovereign and maritime disputes can be resolved swiftly. The only way out is the pursuit of common grounds instead of raising voices on the differences. Sam Bateman, a senior research fellow at the Nanyang Technological University said the neighboring countries should change their mindset to “one of functional cooperation and cooperative management.” The strategies practiced by the United States and some of its allies bring risks to the region. They drive the discords among Asian nations, and all are more likely to lose than gain. Asian countries should not allow their judgment on regional security to be swayed. China shall be confident enough to stick to its long-term pursuit of peace and stability through cooperation, including cooperative management of disputes. ©2014, Xinhua Reprinted with permission

Indian Express 31 May 2014

After Beijing, Tokyo calling: Welcome Modi, seal deal By Pranab Dhal Samanta A day after Chinese Premier Le Keqiang called up Prime Minister Narendra Modi to set the ball rolling on a new roadmap for bilateral engagement, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe exuded confidence that both sides will be able to confirm trilateral cooperation with the United States whenever Modi visits Japan. Indicating that a Modi visit to Japan was on the cards, Abe said: “In India, Mr Narendra Modi has become Prime

Minister through another free and fair election. I am absolutely certain that when I welcome Prime Minister Modi to Tokyo we will successfully confirm that Japan-India cooperation, as well as trilateral cooperation, including our two countries, will make the ‘confluence of the two seas’ that is the Pacific and the Indian Ocean peaceful and more prosperous.” Abe, who on Friday delivered the keynote address at the IISS’s annual Shangri La dialogue on ‘Peace and prosperity in Asia, forevermore Japan for rule of law, Asia for rule of law and the rule of law for all of us’, specifically referred to Modi as a positive opportunity to build on the US-Japan vision for “strengthening trilateral cooperation with like-minded partners to promote peace and economic prosperity in Asia and the Pacific”. Without naming China, he made it clear that there were “attempts to change the status quo through force and coercion” and that the reaffirmation of the US-Japan alliance was the “cornerstone for regional peace and stability”. This vision, Abe explained, was being taken forward through such arrangements of trilateral cooperation. He brought up Australia as an example of such cooperation, referring to the recent visit of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abott to Japan. The two countries, Abe added, agreed to pursue the trilateral arrangement, especially in security matters. “We clearly articulated to people at home and abroad our intention to elevate the strategic partnership between Japan and Australia to a new special relationship.” It was right after this reference that Abe brought up Modi, indicating Japan’s keenness to build on the idea of trilateral cooperation. The outgoing UPA government, it may be noted, had not gone the distance with Japan on such cooperation despite former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh endorsing Abe’s strategic vision of the confluence of the two oceans. The Defence Ministry, in particular, had always desisted the idea of projecting an alliance with the US because of which trilateral exercises could not take place off the Indian coast. While Japan, a country with which Modi has enjoyed a strong association with during his stint as Gujarat Chief Minister, now senses an opportunity with the regime change in New Delhi, China, too, has moved quick off the blocks to find early momentum in the bilateral engagement with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi also expected to be in India on June 8. ©2014, Indian Express Reprinted with permission

Selected press coverage


The Economist 1 June 2014

Dust-up at the Shangri-La TEMPERS frayed rather alarmingly at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual forum for Asia’s defence establishments, held in one of the eponymous hotels, in Singapore. First Japan and then America criticised China. Then China reciprocated in furious terms. The 13th dialogue, from May 30th to June 1st, could hardly have been better timed to deal with the region’s security anxieties. Over the past six months the level of concern about China’s aggressive pursuit of disputed territorial claims has been increasing steadily, at least outside China. In November 2013 China unilaterally declared an AirDefence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea, which covered the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, which are administered by Japan. Then in May, in rapid succession, China moved a massive oil-rig to drill in waters in the South China Sea seen by Vietnam as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone; started construction work at a shoal in the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines; and then, the Japanese complain, flew fighter jets dangerously close to surveillance planes Japan had near the Senkakus. China probably feared the worst when it learned that this year the speech at the dialogue’s opening dinner would be delivered Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe (pictured). It tends to shun him as a troublemaker intent on reviving Japan’s militarist past. Perhaps for that reason, the Chinese delegation was not headed by the defence minister. Instead China sent some of the top brass from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and Fu Ying, a senior diplomat now attached to China’s parliament, the National People’s Congress. They were all duly incensed by Mr Abe’s speech. It was indeed a (largely implicit) onslaught against China and its recent behaviour. In response, Mr Abe promised, there will be an enhanced role for Japanese security in the region. He offered to provide patrol boats to the Philippines and Vietnam. Then the next morning, Chuck Hagel, America’s secretary of defence, used his speech to accuse China of “destabilising, unilateral actions” to assert its claims in the South China Sea. He also endorsed Mr Abe’s speech and stressed the importance of America’s strategic “pivot” or “rebalance” towards Asia. Part of Mr Hagel’s intention may have been to counter the disappointment felt among some of America’s Asian allies about an important foreign-policy speech that Barack Obama had made three days earlier. Mr Obama had made no reference to the rebalance, and mentioned China only in passing. In suggesting that terrorism remained the big-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

gest security threat to America, he raised questions about whether American strategy had “pivoted” at all. But China may have noticed that it also said that America “must always lead on the world stage” and would “use military force, unilaterally if necessary...when the security of our allies is in danger.” Those allies in Asia did not feel reassured, but China may have felt threatened. Mr Hagel’s more explicit commitment at Shangri-La, to a leading role in Asia, clearly irritated China. Apparently not as much, though, as Mr Abe’s less direct approach. It was left to Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the PLA’s General Staff Department, to return fire. He did this with both oratorical barrels, departing from the speech he had prepared for the dialogue. He accused Mr Abe and Mr Hagel, in effect, of ganging up to antagonise China. He called their criticisms “simply unimaginable”. Mr Hagel’s speech was “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation”. It was “not constructive”. In an obvious reference to Mr Abe—and this was in his prepared remarks—General Wang said that China would never allow “ruthless, fascist and militaristic aggression to stage a comeback”. The consensus among non-Chinese delegates at the dialogue was that General Wang made a pretty poor fist of defending China’s position. His argument was crude, and sounded rather childish: namely that it was not China that had been provocative, but those countries who accused it of provocation. Later, when asked specific questions, he failed to answer them or else spoke gibberish, as when he purported to explain the mysterious “nine-dashed line” on Chinese maps which is supposed to give it sovereignty over most of the South China Sea. He referred to historic claims dating back to the Han dynasty (contemporary with the Roman empire, from 206BC to 220AD) and suggested that the law of the sea could not have a retroactive effect on them. But he did not explain what this had to do with the line itself. China might not care that Western and Japanese delegates thought it had lost the argument. Rather, it may well see the whole Shangri-La Dialogue, which is organised by a London-based think-tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, as part of an old world order it no longer feels bound to accept. Viewed from China, that order is one in which the West, and especially America, sets the rules. It lets China in, but only so long as it abides by the house rules, and other countries can team up to criticise it, hoping to thwart its rise to great-power status. Meanwhile, far from the discussions in the air-conditioned banqueting rooms of a luxury hotel, China is asserting its claims in the seas around it. There it encounters no resistance it cannot brush aside, for now. ©2014, The Economist Reprinted with permission

Financial Times 1 June 2014

Beijing hits out at US and Japan alliance By Demetri Sevastopulo A top Chinese general has lashed out at the US and Japan, accusing the two countries of teaming up against China and making “provocative” comments amid escalating Asian maritime tensions. Speaking at a defence forum in Singapore on Sunday, Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the Chinese general staff, lambasted the US and Japanese defence ministers for telling Asian counterparts that China was using intimidation to assert its territorial claims. US defence secretary Chuck Hagel said on Saturday that the US would “not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged”. He added that China was undermining​ its claims that the South China Sea was a “sea of peace, friendship and cooperation” by using coercive tactics. The spat came as US President Barack Obama prepared for a trip to Europe where he will attend a G7 meeting and second world war D-day commemorations. Republican senator and presidential candidate hopeful Ted Cruz on Sunday attacked Mr Obama’s foreign policy, saying: “Every region of the world has gotten worse; America has weakened, our enemies have been strengthened.” In the face of mounting efforts by the US and Japan to shore up new security relationships in Asia, Gen Wang said China opposed both the practice of building military alliances and “attempts by any country to dominate regional affairs”. Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe said on Friday that Japan would give more support to southeast Asian nations facing Chinese pressure. Gen Wang said: “The speeches by Mr Abe and Mr Hagel gave me the impression that they co-ordinated with each other, they supported each other, they encouraged each other and they took the advantage of speaking first . . . and staged provocative actions and challenges against China.” The Shangri-La Dialogue forum has become one of the key defence events in Asia, particularly as China becomes more willing to voice its views. Gen Wang said he had not intended to deliver a critical speech, but felt compelled to respond to Mr Hagel whose speech was “full of hegemony”. This year’s event became more heated because of the escalating disputes in the South China Sea and East China Sea. China is embroiled in maritime disputes around the region, including with Manila and Tokyo. Scores of Chinese and Vietnamese ships are also involved in a stand-off near the disputed Paracel Islands after China started drilling for oil there in early May.

China’s neighbours are concerned about the “nine-dash line”, a demarcation on Chinese maps that encloses much of the South China Sea, suggesting that Beijing lays claim to most of the resource-rich waters. Asked to clarify the “nine-dash line”, Gen Wang said that while China respected the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos), the law did not apply retroactively – a view that is not commonly accepted. He stressed that China discovered many of the Paracels and Spratly Islands, another disputed group closer to the Philippines, more than 2,000 years ago during the Han dynasty. While Shangri-La is designed to tackle a range of AsiaPacific security issues, the focus has, in recent years, shifted squarely to China, with most of the participants this year asking China to explain its policies and actions. Some experts questioned whether a new cold war was emerging in Asia. Anatoly Antonov, Russia’s deputy defence secretary, took exception to comments by Mr Hagel that the US was the only power that could lead in the Asia-Pacific region. “Why does the US have to lead? To lead what?” One Chinese participant said Beijing viewed the forum as a western “set up”, but that it attended to ensure its voice was heard. He said China sends a lower level delegation than other countries – which send their defence ministers – to avoid giving it too much legitimacy. ©2014, Financial Times Reprinted with permission

Wall Street Journal 1 June 2014

Discord in Shangri-La China’s attempt at Asian dominance meets resistance The Shangri-La Dialogue held annually in Singapore has become Asia’s premier forum for sniping about regional security, and the snark gets most of the headlines. But this weekend included more substance. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged Japan would play an “even greater and more proactive role” with stronger defense ties to Southeast Asia, including an offer of coastal patrol boats. And U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel gave a more complete military accounting of the American “pivot” to Asia than we’ve previously heard. The justification for both agendas was clear: Beijing has destabilized the region with its attempts to use military coercion to change the status quo in the East and South China seas. That didn’t go down well with Chinese officials. Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong called the two speeches “simply unimaginable” and a “provocative action against China.”

Selected press coverage


The most important audience at Shangri-La was the Southeast Asian contingent, representing smaller nations that will have to decide whether to stand up to China or make a separate peace. Diplomats told us they were eager for signals that the U.S. will stay committed to the security of East Asia despite China’s growing military might. Mr. Hagel had the additional challenge of following President Obama’s foreign policy manifesto last week at West Point, in which the Asia pivot was conspicuously AWOL. One participant asked the Defense Secretary why Mr. Obama hasn’t explained the pivot to the American public with the same enthusiasm it is sold in Asia. That leaves Asians wondering if the policy has strong enough support to survive a crisis, especially as the defense budget shrinks and other trouble spots emerge. More doubts arise from the way that Messrs. Obama and Hagel try to make nice with Beijing by holding out the prospect of finding a “new model of great-power relations.” That is Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping’s formulation, and many in Asia believe it is code for pushing the U.S. out of the region so it can no longer play the role of balancer. The Obama Administration hasn’t endorsed Mr. Xi’s concept. But it’s hard to shake the impression that the U.S. is playing catch-up after a sea change in Chinese attitudes around 2009. U.S.-China relations used to be based on respect for each other’s “core interests,” which remained stable. Then over the past five years Beijing redefined its core interests to include the disputed islands in the South China Sea. Virtually every Southeast Asian nation is under pressure to accommodate China’s new territorial ambitions. The rhetoric from Chinese officers in Singapore only reinforced fears that Beijing is on a collision course with the U.S. They accused the U.S. and Japan of using coercion and acting hegemonically, when everyone else in region says that describes Chinese behavior. While this is unlikely to convince Southeast Asians worried by Chinese bullying, it is worrying that self-deceptive nationalism is on the rise in China. Mr. Abe’s speech stressed the importance of international law to resolve or at least manage disputes. China’s reluctance to play by those rules suggests it is not a status quo power, but instead wants to create a new Asia-Pacific order that it can dominate. Beijing’s bid to heighten minor territorial disputes in which the U.S. has little to gain and much to lose makes sense as a way to drive a wedge between Washington and its allies. Such disputes are unlikely to be resolved by dialogue, but confabs like Shangri-La offer clues to whether Beijing’s strategy is working. So far Asia’s Pax Americana has held together, but there are more tests ahead and Washington will have to raise its game. ©2014, Wall Street Journal Reprinted with permission


The Shangri-La Dialogue

AFP 1 June 2014

China hits back at US, Japan for ‘provocative’ remarks Singapore (AFP) - China denounced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Sunday for “provocative” remarks accusing Beijing of destabilising actions in contested Asian waters. Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, told an Asian security forum in Singapore that strong comments made by Abe and Hagel at the conference were “unacceptable”. Abe had opened the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday by urging countries to respect the rule of law -- an apparent reference to what rivals consider aggressive Chinese behaviour over disputed areas in the South China Sea and East China Sea. Hagel on Saturday warned China against “destabilising actions” in the South China Sea and listed a number of alleged infractions, including against the Philippines and Vietnam, the two most vocal critics of Beijing’s claims. “The Chinese delegation... have this feeling that the speeches of Mr Abe and Mr Hagel are a provocative action against China,” Wang, dressed in full military uniform, said in an address to the forum. Abe had left Saturday and Hagel departed early Sunday before Wang spoke. The Pentagon said Hagel and Wang held a brief meeting Saturday in which they “exchanged views about issues important to both the US and China, as well as to the region”. About midway into his prepared speech in which he said China “will never seek hegemony and foreign expansion”, Wang diverted from the script. He accused Abe and Hagel of “coordinating” with each other to attack China. “This is simply unimaginable,” said Wang, the highest ranking military official in the Chinese delegation, adding that the US and Japanese speeches were “unacceptable and not in the spirit of this Shangri-La Dialogue”. “The speeches made by Mr Abe and Mr Hagel gave me the impression that they coordinated with each other, they supported each other, they encouraged each other and they took the advantage of speaking first... and staged provocative actions and challenges against China,” he said. ‘Destabilising actions’ Hagel issued a blunt message to Beijing on Saturday, saying “China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea.” He accused China of restricting the Philippines’ access to Scarborough Shoal, putting pressure on Manila’s long-

standing presence in Second Thomas Shoal, beginning land reclamation at various locations and moving an oil rig into disputed waters with Vietnam. Hagel said that while Washington does not take sides on rival claims, “we firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force to assert these claims”. “The United States will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged,” he warned. Abe in turn pledged that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia as his administration moves to reshape the Japanese military’s purely defensive stance. “Japan intends to play an even greater and more proactive role than it has until now in making peace in Asia and the world something more certain,” Abe said. Beijing and Tokyo contest islands in the East China Sea. Wang, who stressed Beijing’s historic rights to the seas, said he preferred Hagel’s frankness by directly naming China, compared to Abe who did not mention any country but obviously targeted Beijing. “If I am to compare the attitude of the two leaders, I would prefer the attitude of Mr Hagel. It is better to be more direct,” he said. As the conference drew to a close, French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian joined a chorus of senior defence officials urging rival claimants to show restraint to prevent larger conflicts. Le Drian said a proposed agreement between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on a code of conduct to handle disputes in the South China Sea was “the only way to prevent incidents in that coveted area”. Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen urged Asian states not to “backslide into a fractious environment, riven by confrontational nationalism and lack of mutual trust”. ©2014, AFP Reprinted with permission

The Times 1 June 2014

China denounces ‘provocative’ US and Japan comments over territory disputes By Sonia Elks China has hit back at Japan and the US for “provocative” remarks after Beijing was told to end “destabilising” actions over disputed waters and islands amid growing tensions on the Pacific Rim. Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, threw away a prepared speech at an Asian security forum in

Singapore to denounce “unacceptable” remarks criticising Chinese actions. He was responding to comments made earlier by Chuck Hagel, the US defence secretary, and Shinzo Abe, the Japanese prime minister at the Shangri-La Dialogue forum. Mr Hagel had on Saturday warned Beijing to end “destabilising, unilateral actions” in the South China Sea. President Abe also angered Beijing on Friday after he appeared to refer to China’s recent actions in an appeal for all countries to respect the rule of law. In his response, General Guanzhong accused Mr Hagel and President Abe of “co-ordinating” their speeches as a “provocative action against China”. “This is simply unimaginable,” said General Guanzhong, who was in full military uniform. “The speeches made by Mr Abe and Mr Hagel gave me the impression that they co-ordinated with each other, they supported each other, they encouraged each other and they took the advantage of speaking first ... and staged provocative actions and challenges against China.” He added that both Mr Hagel and President Abe’s comments were “unacceptable and not in the spirit of this Shangri-La Dialogue”. The row comes against a background of growing tensions on the Pacific Rim as China asserts claims to disputed territories. Beijing claims virtually all of the South China Seas, dismissing claims from Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. It is also involved in a dispute with Tokyo over islands in the East China Sea. Mr Hagel had earlier accused China of restricting the Philippines’ access to Scarborough Shoal, putting pressure on Manila’s long-standing presence in Second Thomas Shoal, beginning land reclamation at various locations and moving an oil rig into disputed waters with Vietnam. “In recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” the Pentagon chief had told the forum. He warned that the US would not look the other way when nations ignored international rules. In his speech, President Abe had warned of an “increasingly severe regional security environment”. He pledged that his country would play a larger role in promoting peace in Asia, as his administration moves to reshape the Japanese military’s purely defensive stance. ©2014, The Times Reprinted with permission

Selected press coverage




1 June 2014

1 June 2014

Britain’s Hammond says Ukraine shows Russia challenge

Chinese veteran diplomat debunks Japan’s “proactive” approach to peace

SINGAPORE (AFP) - British Defence Minister Philip Hammond said on Sunday that the crisis in Ukraine was a “useful reminder” that Russia remained a “challenge” to Europe as the continent eyes troubles elsewhere. US-led western powers and Russia have been locked in the worst crisis of the post-Cold War era since Moscow annexed Crimea earlier this year after protesters ousted Kiev’s pro-Russian leadership. More than 300 people have been killed in months-long fighting between Ukrainian troops and separatist insurgents in the country’s east over the future of the ex-Soviet state. Kiev accuses Russia of trying to regain control over its historical domain with the United States expressing alarm over the emergence of fighters from Russia’s Chechnya among the rebels. The United States and its European allies say Moscow is fomenting separatist uprisings in eastern Ukraine, an allegation that Russia has denied. “We have been reminded that Russia has not gone away as a challenge to Europe and we have to be prepared to defend against that challenge as well as to be active in the Middle East and North Africa,” Mr Hammond said in Singapore. The defence chief told reporters aboard HMS Echo that the situation in Ukraine was “not envisaged” when the United States announced in 2011 that it was rebalancing its forces to the Asia-Pacific. “I think it’s a useful reminder - while new challenges are emerging, the old challenges haven’t necessarily gone away and it has required the Americans in particular to do some nimble footwork to reassure allies in European Nato,” Mr Hammond added. However, Mr Hammond said - on the sidelines of an Asian security summit in the city-state - that America’s strategic shift to Asia “is the right decision into the future”. “There may be tactical twists and turns in the path but I am sure they will stick to it,” he added. Mr Hammond on Saturday addressed the Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual forum attended by defence chiefs, senior military officers and security officials. ©2014, AFP Reprinted with permission


The Shangri-La Dialogue

SINGAPORE -- The idea of “proactive peace” Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe preaches should be a cause for concern because its essence is not peace but “proactiveness,” says a senior Chinese diplomat. The so-called “proactive” approach is aimed at changing the path of peaceful development set for Japan after World War II, Fu Ying, a former vice foreign minister, said here on the sidelines of the Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security forum. Japan’s moves in recent years are worrying because the country inflicted tremendous harm on its neighbors in modern history, and it has not truly come to terms with its past, the soft-spoken diplomat noted. Even worse, the current leaders of Japan have been trying their best to deny and beautify Japan’s history of invasion, added Fu, who now chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC). In his keynote speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Friday, Abe used various innuendoes to paint China as a threat. He also called on his compatriots to revise Japan’s pacifist constitution, saying the Self-Defense Forces should play a larger role in regional security. “He has been trying to lift the lid on Japan’s right of collective self-defense, and he is drumming up a campaign for Japan to be more proactively involved in international security affairs. Given all that, we cannot help questioning the motive, aim and consequence of his moves,” Fu said. She expressed concern that Japanese leaders, with various pretexts, may lead Japan on “a wrong path as their predecessors in modern history did.” “Our world is increasingly globalized and the countries are increasingly interdependent. What we need is peace and stability, and development and steady improvement of people’s living standards,” she said. “We are opposed to raising voices on differences and disputes or creating confrontation. ... We must stay vigilant and not let what happened tragically in history repeat itself,” added the diplomatic veteran. Cooperative security Fu said that she came to the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue, which opened Friday, to listen to other countries’ views on security issues while trying to explain China’s policies and stances. “Asia is a region of growth and vitality. It has had peace and stability after the Cold War. At the same time, however, it is also a region of diversity with multiple interwoven

challenges. To maintain peace and stability and sustain our cooperation and growth momentum, we have to keep our channels of communication open, and keep on efforts to build confidence and reduce distrust,” she said. Fu said countries in the region should further push forward their economic integration in order to achieve common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, the goal of a security approach put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping at a recent security summit in Shanghai. “We should pursue sustainable security through the pursuit of sustainable development,” she said. She also said that in the 21st century, the goal must be common security that takes account of the interests and concerns of all countries. “It must be inclusive. We cannot limit our pursuit to the security interests of a small number of nations or the absolute security of the members of an alliance,” Fu said. “We should increase our constructive interaction among major countries and discard the Cold War mind-set.” She urged countries in the region to stick to the path of multilateralism and build an inclusive regional security cooperation framework. It is good for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to be at the center of regional cooperation and for all the countries to work together “in the ASEAN way,” which works by building on consensus while properly handling differences and disputes, she added. Reducing space for China to be misread Fu, who answered questions and explained China’s policies at the Shangri-La Dialogue, said China does need to think about how it can better communicate with the rest of the world so that people could understand China’s ideas and thoughts better and know them more timely. “One of the most frequently asked questions at the Shangri-La Dialogue is: ‘China is so powerful, so what changes will it bring to this region and the world?’ Obviously China is now seen as a major power in the world,” she said. She added that she expects people from other countries to be following the latest developments related to China more closely and with more critical eyes. “Misunderstanding and misreading can often make it hard to see the truth, especially when others do not have enough knowledge about China and when there still exists the Cold War mind-set,” she said. Responding to a question on maritime disputes in South and East China Seas, Fu said China has always been opposed to unilateral changes to the status quo or provocations in these areas, adding that its policy has always been the peaceful solution of the disputes through consultation and negotiations between the countries involved. However, she said, China has faced unilateral provocations by certain countries in recent years, with some not

only creating incidents but also taking dangerous actions that could jeopardize regional security. “China has had to respond effectively and forcefully to the provocations to defend our interests, while we have to prevent the situation from running out of control, uphold the consensuses that have been achieved by various parties, and safeguard regional stability,” she said. Asean centrality Fu said the core of the South China Sea issue is the overlapping of sovereign disputes over some islands and reefs in the Nansha Islands and claims on maritime interests. China is committed to settling the disputes through direct negotiations and friendly consultations with other claimants based on respect for historical facts and international laws, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), she said. The NPC ratified the UNCLOS in 1996. The spirit of peaceful use of seas in the UNCLOS reflects the common aspirations of mankind, even though it is not a perfect law as many of the stipulations are not specific enough, she noted. As the UNCLOS does not touch upon disputes of sovereign claims, which is clearly written in the preface of the document, nobody can unilaterally declare an exclusive economic zone and then use it as an excuse to claim islands in the waters in question, Fu said. She said the UNCLOS is only part of international laws, which also include the United Nations Charter and the international codes and practices. Bilateral and multilateral agreements and consensus, including the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC), which was concluded in 2002 among China and the ASEAN countries, are also an important part of the international rules, she said. China will continue to work with the countries involved to keep on communication, enhance mutual political trust, and carry out maritime cooperation, so as to create an environment for managing differences and resolving disputes, she said. Beijing will also work with the ASEAN countries to effectively implement the DOC while working on a code of conduct within the framework of the DOC, Fu noted. ©2014, Xinhua Reprinted with permission

The Interpreter 1 June 2014

The diplomacy of hard and soft power at Shangri-La By Nick Bisley The Shangri-La Dialogue styles itself as the premier forum for defence diplomacy in Asia. Given the scale of the event,

Selected press coverage


the number of countries represented and the media coverage, the description is probably warranted. Defence diplomacy is a curious beast. Institutions and individuals whose primary function is the organised use of force are turned to the business of dialogue and communication. In a region so beset with tensions and rivalry as Asia, defence diplomacy is an important and welcome addition to the international scene. First established in 2002 to bring together ministers of defence and senior officials to exchange points of view and build some common ground, the plenary sessions of the first day of the thirteenth Dialogue showed the extent of competition in the region and the challenges facing those trying to exercise diplomatic versions of hard power. The tone was set during the keynote address by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the opening night. During his remarks he defended Japan’s approach to the region as in keeping with the traditions of its peace constitution, and unleashed a rhetorical fusillade on the PRC. Using carefully chosen terms, Abe persistently implied China was destabilising the region because it was not adhering to the rules of road. In subsequent addresses, America and its key allies continued on this path. Indeed, so close has been the use of language — focusing on the rule of law, challenges to the status quo and peaceful resolution of disputes — that clearly some level of coordination has been going on. The unambiguous message, whether intended or not, was that China’s behaviour was not in line with the expectations of the existing order. Shangri-La’s success means that it is a most public form of soft-power diplomacy. Although in recent years Japan has lagged behind the PRC in this area, this time around, Tokyo has had Beijing’s measure, at least so far. China has the disadvantage of not being in plenary until today, the second day. China’s questions during the discussion session have also had a jarring and antagonistic quality. Far from building common ground, the dialogue is providing a forum to put pressure on China. Japan, the US and others are sending a clear message to Beijing: the existing order works well and you need to accept it and work with it. Washington and its friend appear to find it hard to understand why Beijing may see things differently. Indeed, based on events of the first day, it is easy to see why China sees the Dialogue, ostensibly neutral as it is run by the London-based think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies, as representing an international order that is rigged against it. We will have to wait for the second day to see how Beijing responds to the gentle but calculated pressure it has been placed under so far. ©2014, The Interpreter Reprinted with permission


The Shangri-La Dialogue

Christian Science Monitor 1 June 2014

Shangri-la Dialogue no paradise as China and US trade barbs By Peter Ford SINGAPORE — When the great and the good in the world of Asian strategy get together once a year here to talk about what’s new in their field, it is not often that sparks fly. But there were some fireworks at the Shangri-la Dialogue on Sunday when the deputy chief of the Chinese Army, Gen. Wang Guanzhong, let loose with some barbed attacks on the United States and its principal ally in Asia, Japan. Since the conference began on Friday evening, speaker after speaker had criticized China, in more or less veiled fashion, for the aggressive way Beijing is pushing its territorial claims in the East and South China seas. Wang clearly felt aggrieved; people were ganging up on his government and it was time to hit back. He accused Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel of “provocative actions and challenges against China” in their earlier speeches and described Mr. Hagel’s speech as “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation…to create troubles and make provocations.” What had they done to deserve such opprobrium? Mr. Abe had complained about the way China has crowded the seas and skies around the disputed Diaoyu islands (which he calls the Senkaku) with naval vessels and fighter jets. Hagel had accused Beijing of “destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” for example by moving an oil drilling rig last month into waters that Vietnam also claims. That has led to clashes between Vietnamese and Chinese vessels in which one Vietnamese fishing boat sank last week, and to anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam in which four people died. The United States “firmly opposes any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion, or the threat of force” to assert its claims, Hagel said bluntly. Real risks These were strong words. But tensions in the South China Sea and around the Diaoyu/Senkaku islands are getting dangerously high, and with opposing ships and combat aircraft in close proximity there is a constant risk that a miscalculation might unleash a serious conflict. Events such as the annual Shangri-la Dialogue are meant to help avert such disasters by encouraging discussion and greater mutual understanding. But Wang’s outburst illustrates a fly in the ointment.

Different countries have different views about which islands belong to whom and for what historical reasons. But they are all – officially – committed to resolving those differences peacefully through negotiations. The difficulty is that the moment somebody expresses a view with which China does not agree – as Abe and Hagel did – the Chinese accuse them of “provocation.” That hardly paves the path to negotiation. The Vietnamese Defense minister, Gen. Phung Quang Thanh, told the conference on Saturday that since China’s installation of the oil rig in disputed waters a month ago he had telephoned his counterpart and other Chinese leaders asking for a meeting, or the dispatch of a special envoy, or a telephone call or even a letter to enable negotiations on a way out of the crisis. “China is considering these calls,” he said. He did not appear to expect an answer any time soon. ©2014, Christian Science Monitor Reprinted with permission

Reuters 1 June 2014

Snubs, harsh words at Asia security meet as U.S. and Japan rile China By Rachel Armstrong and Raju Gopalakrishnan SINGAPORE (Reuters) - When Japan’s defense minister greeted the deputy chief of staff of China’s army at a regional security forum this weekend, he was undiplomatically snubbed. Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong said he was incensed by comments from Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe implicitly holding China responsible for territorial disputes in the East and South China Seas and later by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s accusations that Beijing was destabilizing the region. “When Mr Abe spoke just now, there was veiled criticism targeted at China,” Wang told Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, according to the semi-official China News Service. “These accusations are wrong and go against the standards of international relations.” The exchange between the world’s three biggest economies at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, a security forum for government officials, military officers and defense experts, were among the most caustic in years at diplomatic gatherings, and could be a setback to efforts to bring ties back on track. It was the first such major conference since tensions have surged in the South China Sea, one of Asia’s most intractable disputes and a possible flashpoint for conflict. Tellingly, despite around 100 bilateral and trilateral meetings taking place over the week, officials from China and Japan did not sit down together.

China’s Wang had rejected an offer of talks with Japan and said: “This will hinge on whether the Japanese side is willing to amend the erroneous policy towards China and improve relations between China and Japan. Japan should correct its mistakes as soon as possible to improve ChinaJapan ties.” Wang later accused the United States of hegemonism, threats and intimidation. China claims almost the entire oil- and gas-rich South China Sea, and dismisses competing claims from Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia. Japan has its own territorial row with China over islands in the East China Sea. Riots broke out in Vietnam last month after China placed an oil rig in waters claimed by Hanoi, and the Philippines said Beijing could be building an airstrip on a disputed island. Tensions have been rising steadily in the East China Sea as well. Japan’s defense ministry said Chinese SU-27 fighters came as close as 50 meters (170 ft) to a Japanese OP-3C surveillance plane near disputed islets last week and within 30 meters of a YS-11EB electronic intelligence aircraft. On Sunday, Wang stepped up the rhetoric. “Mr Abe, as the head of a country and as someone the organizers have invited to give a speech, is supposed to stick to the event’s aim in boosting security in the Asia Pacific region,” he said. “However Mr Abe went against the aim of the event by instigating disputes.” Despite the heated words, analysts do not believe relations have deteriorated beyond reach. “In the past, there was a sense we were sailing towards stability,” said Kishore Mahbubani, dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. “Now people worry. Overall, things are going in the right direction. Nobody thinks there will be war, but there is a level of unease which is new.” Japan’s coming out China has been particularly aggrieved by Japan trying to woo Southeast Asia. In his keynote address to the conference, Abe pitched his plan for Japan to take on a bigger international security role and said Tokyo would offer its “utmost support” to Southeast Asian countries in their efforts to protect their seas and airspace. It is part of his nationalist agenda to loosen the restraints of the pacifist post World War Two constitution and to shape a more muscular Japanese foreign policy. Philip Hammond, the British defense minister, said Abe’s agenda was well known but provoked a response because it was laid out publicly. “It’s certainly the first time I had heard him articulate it on a public platform in that way,” he said. Japan’s growing proximity to Washington is also a worry for Beijing.

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“What really worries them is that Japan and the U.S. are in a very strong alliance and seem to be pulling closer, that was clear at this year’s dialogue,” said Tim Huxley, executive director of the International Institute of Strategic Studies in Asia, the organizer of the forum. “Rightly or wrongly, that will be seen by the Chinese as threatening them because it will mean they will be facing a more coherent alliance.” Still, the row is not likely to spill over. The three nations have deep economic and business ties, which none of them would like to see disrupted. “Relations are definitely not at a breaking point,” said Bonnie Glaser of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies and a regular visitor to the dialogue. “Leaders are aware that their countries have huge stakes in this relationship and they are committed to trying to find areas where interests do overlap, where they can work together.” Beijing, she said, had compartmentalized various aspects of its relationship with Japan and the United States. “There is a wider strategy from China, though we don’t see that here, partly because it’s a security forum.” William Cohen, a former U.S. secretary for defense, said the strong words from the United States and Japan were necessary. “China is growing, it’s maturing, it’s also feeling its oats a bit and throwing its weight around. That is normal if they see no counterweight. It’s incumbent upon us to say, okay, there are limits. These things have to be said.” ©2014, Reuters Reprinted with permission

Asahi Shimbun 1 June 2014

Japan, U.S. tussle with China over maritime disputes at Asia security meet SINGAPORE – Japan and the United States, on one side, and China, on the other, exchanged a flurry of accusations at a high-profile Asian security conference on May 31 over China’s actions in regional waters. Southeast Asian nations in attendance, with many having a stake in the maritime disputes, remained mostly on the sidelines, apparently wary of antagonizing China. The flare-up dominated discussions at the Asia Security Summit, commonly known as the Shangri-La Dialogue, organized by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). It is scheduled to conclude on June 1. “(At this conference) not only Japan but also Vietnam and the United States have become openly hostile (toward China),” said a Chinese national security expert.


The Shangri-La Dialogue

In a speech on May 31, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel harshly criticized China, citing its recent provocations in the South China Sea, including the moving of an oil rig into waters near the Paracel Islands, which are claimed by Vietnam. “In recent months, China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” Hagel said. Hagel also said, “We made it clear last November that the U.S. military would not abide by China’s unilateral declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, including over the Japanese-administered Senkaku Islands. And as President Obama clearly stated in Japan last month, the Senkaku Islands are under the mutual defense treaty with Japan.” Wang Guanzhong, who heads the Chinese delegation, said that Hagel’s remarks reminded him of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s speech on the previous day. According to those close to the Chinese delegation, after Abe made his speech, its contents were reported to Beijing, where officials apparently discussed countermeasures throughout the night. “We had regarded (Abe’s) speech as the first step in deciding whether China holds a summit meeting with Japan. Given the contents of the speech, we cannot accept (Japan’s request for the summit meeting),” a high-ranking official of the Chinese government said. Following Hagel, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera repeated similar criticism of China in his speech on May 31. “Japan as well as all concerned parties must uphold the ‘rule of law’ and never attempt to unilaterally change the status quo by force. Also, no country should ignore international rules and attempt to take dangerous action counter to military professionalism in both maritime navigation and over-flight in and above high seas,” Onodera said. Onodera later met with Hagel and agreed that their countries will never tolerate “a unilateral change in the status quo by use of force.” China expressed its strong opposition to Hagel’s speech. In a question-and-answer session, a senior officer of the Chinese military asked the U.S. defense secretary whether he considers Japan’s nationalization of the Senkaku Islands as a unilateral challenge of the status quo?” The officer also said the United States reiterates its defense obligations to an ally based on a security treaty and asked, “Do you think it is a sort of threat of force, coercion or intimidation?” In a subcommittee meeting held on May 31, high-ranking Japanese and Chinese officials conducted a heated discussion. Japanese Deputy Foreign Minister Shinsuke Sugiyama asked Fu Ying, chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, about

the points of contention under international law concerning a unilateral change of the status quo. Fu replied that Sugiyama and Abe have indicated that the “rule of law” refers to Japanese law. She suggested that Japan halt whaling activities if it abides by international law. Meanwhile, Fu was asked about exclusive economic zones, continental shelves and the basis on which China claims its jurisdictional authority over the South China Sea. However, Fu declined to respond, saying that she is not in charge of those issues. But she said that China was the first country that discovered the Nansha Islands (Spratly Islands), Xisha Islands (Paracel Islands) and Dongsha Islands (Pratas Islands) in the South China Sea. She also said that China has records of its activities of more than 1,000 years concerning those islands, but Japanese imperialism robbed China of those territories. On the morning of May 31, a day after Abe gave his keynote speech, Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu, a member of the Academy of Military Science, a think tank affiliated with the Chinese military, showed her strong displeasure toward Japan. In a news conference for Chinese media, she said that Japan implicitly abused China by requiring that it follow international law. At the Shangri-La Dialogue, some Southeast Asian countries have kept their distance from the conflict between China and Japan and the United States. Indonesian Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro pointed out that China’s expansion of its military power is unstoppable. Singaporean Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen said, “We need to seriously think (about) mechanisms and practices that allow us to de-escalate tensions” because a strategic relationship of trust is absent. In the 2013 Shangri-La Dialogue, the Philippines strongly criticized China, which it is in conflict with over the sovereignty over Scarborough Shoal in the South China Sea. This year, however, the Philippines is not taking such a strong stance at the conference. The sovereignty issue is currently in dispute in the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea. The Philippines apparently aims to emphasize its position of entrusting the dispute to the tribunal by refraining from political remarks. Tim Huxley, an IISS member of staff well-versed in Southeast Asian affairs, said Southeast Asian nations are not united against China. Some of them avoided criticizing China by not mentioning it by name because they “know that they are relatively small and weak and in the long term, they cannot rely on America being here,” he said. ©2014, Asahi Shimbun Reprinted with permission

IISS Voices 2 June 2014

SLD 2014 – the gloves come off By Nigel Inkster By general consensus, the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue entered new territory. Until now, exchanges at the Dialogue had been very Asian in their circumspection and avoidance of controversy. Pressure has been building up for some time, driven by regional concerns about the implications of an increasingly assertive and militarily capable China disposed to challenge the United States’ status as guarantor of regional stability. But this year the dramatic new ingredient was a keynote address by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who expressed his desire to dispense with Japan’s historical baggage and begin a new chapter as a normal country and an exponent of active pacifism. Abe spoke of Japan’s emphasis on the importance of observing international law and norms and promoting human rights – pointed if unspoken references to a China widely perceived within the region to be doing neither, particularly with respect to its maritime policies. And Abe’s speech was followed by an even more blunt statement from US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, who accused China of disrupting the regional order and stating that the US government would not stand idly by when confronted with breaches of international law. The stage was set for a strong Chinese riposte, and the leader of China’s delegation General Wang Guanzhong did not disappoint with some ‘unscripted’ remarks – actually the product of intensive writing and rewriting deep into the night – in which he accused Japan and the US of ganging up on China and violating the spirit of the Dialogue. General Wang – junior in rank to the other plenary speakers – faced some tough questions, especially on the subject of China’s nine-dashed line that lays claim to most of the South China Sea. His answer, in effect that UNCLOS was trumped by China’s historic claims, is unlikely to have found favour with any international lawyer or to have set at rest the minds of competing claimants. This year’s Dialogue was to some degree a dialogue of the deaf, at least with respect to those who have now become the key actors, whose exchanges were characterised by a degree of tone-deafness. Referring to Abe’s keynote address, one delegate observed that he had never heard anyone espousing peace in quite such an aggressive manner. The United States’ approach towards China was brutal in its frankness. And China, as so often happens, failed to explain itself to anyone’s satisfaction, confusing explanation with assertion. But the battle lines were unmistakable in their clarity. China’s vision for Asia-Pacific security is a Sinocentric one

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that sees no place for the US, or any other extra-regional power, a point implicit in a question addressed to France’s Defence Minister by a PLA officer. This was very much the vision set out by China’s President Xi Jinping in a recent speech in Shanghai. For it to happen, Beijing has to work to establish facts on the ground in areas like the South China Sea and to eat away at the network of bilateral alliances established by the US with surrounding states, a network Beijing characterises as emblematic of an outdated Cold War mind-set. Circumstances may, in the long term, be on Beijing’s side. The other thing Beijing has to do is to win an information war, which is something to be conducted on a daily basis, not just in time of actual conflict. At present it is not clear that Beijing is winning that war. The PLA has always been a reluctant participant in a Shangri-La Dialogue it sees as a Western construct and a place where the PLA leadership puts itself at risk of ambush and embarrassment. As General Wang’s predecessor discovered, a failure to be seen vigorously espousing China’s national interest can elicit a wave of ultranationalist sentiment on Chinese social media that can translate into adverse career consequences. It was not an error General Wang can be accused of having committed. It remains to be seen whether in coming years China will continue its established policy of underrepresentation at Shangri-La, or whether it will attempt to seize the initiative through higher-level representation. Either way, participants in the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue can congratulate themselves on witnessing the prologue to a drama that will fundamentally shape the future of the Asia-Pacific region and the world.

Sydney Morning Herald 2 June 2014

David Johnston backs Chuck Hagel: China destabilising South China Sea By David Wroe

His comments came after Mr Hagel accused China of “destabilising, unilateral” actions - a particular reference to its recent placing of an oil rig in Vietnamese waters, prompting maritime skirmishes between the two countries. Asked if he shared Mr Hagel’s view, Senator Johnston said: “I do to the extent that it is destabilisation … in a previously very successful region that has been able to deliver enormous amounts of prosperity to countries in the AsiaPacific.’’ He added: “This instability is unwarranted and quite damaging to the future economic prospects. So I do share Secretary Hagel’s concerns.” Senator Johnston said Australia would try to persuade China there was “another path” that did not involve the risk of confrontation and escalation at sea. He reiterated Australia’s position that it did not take sides in the territorial disputes between China and its neighbours and stressed that Australia called on all sides to follow the rule of law in resolving these disputes. Beijing has reacted angrily to Mr Hagel’s remarks and was also unsettled by Japan’s announcement on Friday night that it would play a greater security role and help south-east Asian countries in disputes with China. Sam Roggeveen, an international affairs expert at the Lowy Institute, described the meeting as a “landmark event” that brought home the degree of tension. “It might be that we’ll look back on this as a moment when we saw clearly that the great powers of Asia were moving into a period of competition and confrontation,’’ he said. ©2014, Sydney Morning Herald Reprinted with permission

Straits Times 2 June 2014

8 highlights of the Shangri-La Dialogue By Ling Chang Hong, Assistant Foreign Editor

Defence Minister David Johnston says the government is “very concerned” by China’s “destabilisation” of its neighbourhood in some of the strongest words yet over rising tensions in Asia. Senator Johnston backed tough words by his US counterpart, Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, at a fiery conference in Singapore that one analyst says has hammered home growing security fears about the region. Speaking from the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday, Senator Johnston said “the US, Australia and Japan are very concerned that unilateral action is destabilising the region of the South China Sea particularly, and East China Sea”. He added that countries such as Vietnam and the Philippines shared this concern and that this had come through in discussions at the meeting.


The Shangri-La Dialogue

The 13th IISS Asia Security Summit: The Shangri-La Dialogue took place last weekend in Singapore. Held against the backdrop of rising tensions over the region’s territorial disputes, and an intensifying geostrategic tussle in the Asia-Pacific, this summit saw the most heated debates since it was started in 2002. The Straits Times looks back at some of the highlights of the three-day forum, organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which was attended by 450 defence ministers, senior military officials and security experts from the Asia-Pacific and beyond. 1. Japan wants greater role in the region Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the keynote speaker at the opening of the forum on May 30. He expressed

Japan’s intention to play a bigger and more proactive role in ensuring peace and security in the region and pledged support for South-east Asian nations in their efforts to protect their territories. In his address, the first by a Japanese leader at the forum, Mr Abe also dwelt at length on the need to observe international maritime laws. Although Mr Abe did not directly name any country, there was little doubt that his speech was targeted at China as he repeatedly used language that Tokyo had employed in criticising Beijing’s behaviour in the region’s territorial disputes. 2. US raps China, stresses Asia pivot On the second day of the forum, US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel issued sharp criticisms at China for its “destabilising, unilateral actions” in asserting its territorial claims in the South China Sea. In unusually pointed remarks, Mr Hagel warned that Washington would not look the other way when fundamental principles of international order are being challenged. Mr Hagel also reiterated Washington’s commitment to the region, saying that “rebalancing to Asia-Pacific is a reality”. 3. China hits back On the final day of the forum, Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), hit back at Japan and the United States, lashing out at the two allies for their “provocations” against China. In an unexpected deviation from his prepared speech, Mr Wang accused Mr Abe and Mr Hagel of ganging up against China, slamming them for using their speeches to attack Beijing. Their remarks were “unacceptable”, “provocative” and went against the spirit of the from, the Chinese general said. 4. Sino-Viet spat in spotlight The maritime dispute between China and Vietnam was a topic of interest at the forum. The spat was triggered by a Chinese oil rig deployed in disputed waters last month and escalated recently when a Chinese ship rammed and sank a Vietnamese fishing boat in the area. Vietnam’s Defence Minister General Phung Quang Thanh told the forum that Hanoi will take Beijing to international court only as a “last resort”, preferring to resolve the dispute through talks. Madam Fu Ying, chairman of the Chinese Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee, meanwhile said that Hanoi and Beijing have to find a solution themselves and that Washington should not interfere in this matter. 5. Post-coup Thailand in focus Thailand, which is now ruled by a military government after a bloodless coup last month, was also in the spotlight at the forum. Mr Hagel had in his speech urged the coup leaders to release detainees, allow freedom of expression and call for elections soon.

In response, Mr Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Thailand’s Acting Minister for Foreign Affairs who was leading the Thai delegation, said his country was not retreating from democracy. He said Thailand was undergoing political reforms before holding elections, and urged its strategic and economic partners to give it time. 6. Charged atmosphere The atmosphere at this year’s forum was unusually tense amid the rising temperatures over territorial disputes in the East and South China seas. Usually a cordial affair in which disagreements have always been politely couched, delegates have been far less shy about speaking their minds this year. LieutenantGeneral Wang, who heads the PLA delegation, for example, described Mr Hagel’s speech as “full of hegemonism, threat and intimidation”. 7. Asean-China ties strong Mr Abe’s expressed intention to build closer security ties with Asean will not worry China too much given its strong ties with the South-east Asian grouping, analysts say. So far, Singapore and Indonesia have openly welcomed Mr Abe’s move while other Asean member states, such as Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam who have territorial disputes with China, have mostly kept silent. 8. What’s next? While barbs and heated exchanges over territorial disputes and Japan’s desire for a greater regional security role dominated this year’s forum, the real elephant in the room is the question of how best to accommodate a rising China. Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told delegates at the forum’s closing session that it was an issue the region was still “grappling with”. One suggestion is to readjust the speaking slots so that the Chinese can have their say first, or even better, invite Chinese President Xi Jinping to be the keynote speaker for next year’s forum. ©2014, Straits Times Reprinted with permission

Thanh Nien News 2 June 2014

China must immediately withdraw oil rig: Vietnam’s Defense Minister China must immediately withdraw its the Haiyang Shiyou981 rig from Vietnamese waters, Vietnamese defense minister Phung Quang Thanh said Saturday. “China must join talks with Vietnam in order to maintain peace, stability and friendship between the two countries,” the general said during the 13th International Institute for Strategic Studies’ Asia Security Summit, or Shangri-La Dialogue, in Singapore.

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“It will benefit both countries,” he added. The China’s incursion into Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone has sparked public anger and resentment among Vietnamese people at home and abroad as well as special concern around the world, the government website reported. Since May 1, China has deployed more than 130 ships, including military vessels and planes, to guard the rig which is currently stationed 80 nautical miles inside Vietnam’s exclusive economic zone. Chinese ships have repeatedly attacked, rammed and threatened Vietnamese law enforcement vessels and fishing boats. China even sank a Vietnamese boat with 10 fishermen onboard on May 26. “Given its role on the United Nations Security Council, and its sheer size, the perverse acts China perpetrated in Vietnamese waters are unacceptable,” the government website said in a statement. “Big countries need to bear bigger responsibilities in maintaining peace and stability. All acts of bullying and trampling the rights of others will certainly be condemned by the peace-loving peoples of the world,” it said. At the Shangri-La Dialogue, General Thanh said Vietnam’s policy is to pursue peaceful solutions to the issue based on international laws. “Under this policy, Vietnam has acted with restraint; we have not used aircraft, missile ships, etc. We have only deployed coast guard vessels and fisheries surveillance ships which haven’t deliberately rammed or sprayed water at Chinese ships.” “In return, we demand that China withdraw its rig from Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone,” he said. Asked about the role of bilateral relations between national leaders, Thanh said Vietnamese leaders have contacted their Chinese counterparts and requested further meetings. He said Vietnam is hoping to engage in dialogue with China as both are neighbors who enjoy mutually beneficial bilateral trade. Vietnam and China have faced more difficult problems before, he noted, such as the demarcation of their common land border and their maritime borders in the Bac Bo (Tonkin) Gulf. All of these disputes have already been resolved. “Taking legal proceedings is also a peaceful measure that complies with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Charter of the United Nations. But it is a last resort,” he said. Thanh called for restraint from both sides, adding that bilateral border and territorial disputes between neighboring countries are not rare. “The media should create an environment to help solve disputes and conflicts peacefully and should not using pro-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

vocative words to exacerbate tensions or pressure leaders into making decisions,” he said. ©2014, Thanh Nien News Reprinted with permission

Kyodo News Agency 2 June 2014

Abe’s pledge to boost ties with ASEAN real test amid China threats Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has promised stronger ties between Japan and Southeast Asian countries, but fulfilling the pledge will require careful political maneuvering, as he seeks to end the postwar pacifist policy and establish a greater security role amid the rise of an assertive China. Having made the pledge at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, a regional security forum, Abe may need to strike a delicate balance to become a truly “proactive” contributor to peace in the Asia-Pacific region, experts say. Stronger ties between Japan and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations could benefit the region and position Japan to counterbalance China, but are unlikely to be welcomed by the Asian powerhouse, whose relations with Japan remain at the lowest point in years. In his calibrated keynote speech at the security forum, Abe made a veiled criticism of China and argued that Asia must uphold the rule of law. He threw strong support behind Vietnam and the Philippines in their attempts to resolve their own territorial disputes in the South China Sea, not by force but through peaceful means. “Taking our alliance with the United States as the foundation and respecting our partnership with ASEAN, Japan will spare no effort to make regional stability, peace, and prosperity into something rock-solid,” said Abe, who became the first Japanese prime minister to address the forum. China immediately accused Japan and the United States of staging “provocative actions” against the country, making it the latest instance of the two Asian powers trading barbs on the global stage. Despite repeated calls for dialogue, Abe has not held talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, who proposed in May that Asia should have a new security structure that excludes the United States. Abe’s push to remodel Japan’s security architecture, which is bound by the pacifist Constitution, has alarmed China, which suffered from Japan’s wartime brutality. Abe denies Japan will ever go to war again, even if the country decides to remove a long-standing ban on using the right to collective self-defense, but Beijing has rejected his argument. “What is clear in Abe’s message is that Japan will help ASEAN with capacity-building so the grouping can bol-

ster its own defenses, given that ASEAN countries could be the weak link if we are to create an Asian network to counter China,” said Narushige Michishita, professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies in Tokyo. “Abe did not mention this because the issue is still controversial in Japan, but it’s becoming more obvious that one reason why Japan is trying to remove the ban on collective self-defense seems to be working more closely with ASEAN,” Michishita added. Abe has prioritized bolstering the U.S.-Japan security alliance as the security landscape is changing due to China’s maritime forays and North Korea’s missile and nuclear development. Bilateral defense cooperation guidelines that define the roles and responsibilities of the Self-Defense Forces and the U.S. military are expected to be revised by the end of the year. Tokyo and Washington hope a decision will be made by then on whether Japan should defend allies under armed attack in collective self-defense. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel gave his backing during the Shangri-La Dialogue through Sunday to Abe’s bid to “reorient its collective self-defense posture toward actively helping build a peaceful and resilient regional order.” Hagel criticized China in strong language and stressed strong U.S. commitment to the region, as skeptics increasingly question the seriousness of U.S. President Barack Obama’s “rebalancing” strategy to Asia. Debate has continued to revolve around whether the United States, which does not take positions on sovereignty issues, would defend the Japanese-controlled, Chinaclaimed Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. Within the ASEAN framework, Vietnam and the Philippines have faced off with China in the South China Sea, and experts warn of further escalation of regional tensions. ASEAN is not a NATO-type military alliance and a regional bloc whose networks are still weak. Experts say some members are much closer to Beijing than to Tokyo. “Japan is one of the important ASEAN dialogue partners and I think Japan will show us its contributions,” an Indonesian government official said on condition of anonymity. Nevertheless, security expert Michishita says Japan has its work cut out. “I think ASEAN has yet to be convinced about Japan’s commitment,” Michishita said. “The real challenge is when China comes into the equation.” ©2014, Kyodo News Agency Reprinted with permission

Nikkei Asian Review 2 June 2014

Sam Roggeveen: Security forum highlights Asia’s new confrontational era The diplomats, military officers, journalists and academics who gathered in Singapore for Asia’s premier annual forum on security issues and defense diplomacy on May 30 witnessed an extraordinary display of regional jousting. In years to come, perhaps the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue, as the annual event is known, will be seen as just a temporary spike in tensions between the region’s major powers. On the other hand, the gathering could mark the moment when those powers entered a new era of competition and confrontation. While growing antagonism between regional players has been evident for some years, the diplomatic veil was lifted at the Singapore gathering. Subtext became text. Veterans of the annual summit, convened by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, agreed they had never seen anything like it. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe opened the conference with a speech that, although it barely mentioned China, was brimming with implied criticism of Beijing’s assertiveness in South China Sea territorial disputes. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was more blunt, criticizing China by name for its “destabilizing and unilateral” action and promising that America “would not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged.” The leader of China’s delegation, Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the People’s Liberation Army’s general staff, hit back hard on June 1, the last day of the conference. With a theatrical flourish, he stopped in the middle of his prepared speech to announce he would depart from his text in order to address directly the remarks made by Abe and Hagel. He accused them of provocation, then singled out Hagel’s earlier speech, claiming it was intended to create trouble with its “threats” and “intimidation.” As veteran Asian security commentator Barry Desker, Dean of Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies remarked, there was a definite “Cold War tone” to the speeches made by representatives of the key powers. As alarming as that may be, there is value in having such disagreements exposed, because it elevates a problem that will embroil the entire region. It is increasingly inevitable that such diplomatic (and possibly direct) confrontations will arise. How could it be otherwise? China is a rapidly emerging rising world power which wants a greater say in the regional strategic order. America says it welcomes China’s rise, but this really means it welcomes China’s economic rise. Amid its so-called “pivot to Asia,” Washington

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would prefer that the region’s balance of power, which greatly favors the U.S. and its allies, did not change at all. Some commentators who favor this status quo say there is an upside to China’s recent assertiveness. Beijing’s unilateral declaration last year of an Air Defense Identification Zone over the East China Sea, the harassment of Philippine vessels in the South China Sea and China’s defiant moving of an oil rig into disputed waters off the coast of Vietnam are driving regional nations into the arms of America and its allies, they say. True, the U.S. and the Philippines recently upgraded their defense ties, and the Vietnamese delegation to the conference applauded Abe’s speech enthusiastically. Yet there is an element of wishful thinking to such analysis. It assumes that tough speeches from officials such as Chuck Hagel, or even the shift of more U.S. military forces into the region, will temper China, even as China’s recent behavior directly contradicts such views. It also assumes that the U.S. would intervene in the event of further Chinese provocations in the South China Sea. But why would Washington risk the possibility of a wider war with Beijing over what remain relatively minor territorial disputes? President Barack Obama himself said in his West Point speech in late May that the U.S. would not intervene militarily in disputes that were marginal to U.S. interests. And if the disastrous civil war in Syria falls below Obama’s intervention threshold, why would a dispute over an oil rig or some fishing territory rise above it? China’s recent behavior in the South China Sea was matched last weekend by its hectoring at the Singapore conference. It wasn’t just the speech by the PLA’s Wang which, had it been delivered by a senior Japanese official, would have drawn instant condemnation from Beijing. It was also the aggressive behavior of Chinese delegates from the floor of the conference, with a PLA officer brusquely talking over the chair so that she could continue her critical questioning of Chuck Hagel. It is true that such behavior is a diplomatic own goal, and that it increases the allure of the U.S. presence in the region. But this should not reassure anyone, because it suggests that China simply doesn’t care what the region thinks. The discomfiting reality that Asia must face is that Beijing, the region’s superpower, may not be looking for friends or allies, just supplicants. ©2014, Nikkei Asian Review Reprinted with permission


The Shangri-La Dialogue

China Daily 3 June 2014

Rapid-fire questions turn up heat on Hagel War of words highlights tensions between China, US and Japan By Zhao Shengnan When Yao Yunzhu took the floor to reply to Pentagon chief Chuck Hagel’s speech on Saturday at an Asia-Pacific security forum, reporters relished the sense of déjà vu. They wondered how the major general would question Hagel at the forum for the second year running. The director of the Center for China-America Defense Relations at the PLA’s Academy of Military Science did not disappoint, rapidly firing off four questions in fluent English and ignoring two attempts by the moderator to cut her off. Yao, 60, said she was dissatisfied over not receiving direct or sufficient answers from Hagel and not being given the chance to challenge his “wrong answers”. “During his speech, Hagel portrayed China as breaking the rules of the international community,” Yao said. “But you tell me which specific law China violated when it established an air defense identification zone in the East China Sea and which international laws the United States consulted when establishing its own ADIZ,” she added as the three-day Shangri-La Dialogue ended in Singapore on Sunday. The war of words between Yao and Hagel served as a sideshow amid tensions between China, the US and Japan at the forum over the situation in the East and South China seas. The US and Japan felt perfectly at home when making blunt or veiled accusations against China, accusing it of “destabilizing” the two seas. She said the South China Sea had not been a problem until recently when countries in the region had accelerated attempts to draw maritime baselines and to enlarge atolls to allow them to claim a 200-nautical mile exclusive economic zone around them. Territorial claims by others only arose when rich oil and natural gas deposits were found and viewed by countries in the region as a potentially cheaper source of energy than that from the Middle East, Yao said. The US Energy Information Administration estimates that the South China Sea contains about 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in proven and probable reserves. Yao said another source of tension stemmed from the US accusing China of endangering freedom of maritime

navigation and flights over the two seas whenever China opposed US military surveillance. “This saw the US and some Southeast Asian countries finding a shared interest in jointly working against China,” she said. “As a response to the increasing pressure, China has to stop setting the issue aside, as it used to do.” Yao called for a regional security framework that was more inclusive for China given that “such a big country does not want to challenge the leading role of the US but still needs to have its voice heard”. The alliance system with the US at its center was dominating the Asia-Pacific security framework, while Washington had not been clear enough about Beijing’s role, she said. Yao said she had prepared a question about Sino-US military cooperation for Hagel, but changed her mind after his remarks about China. ©2014, China Daily Reprinted with permission

The Diplomat 3 June 2014

Japan, Lawfare and the East China Sea By Christian Le Miere In an article published by The Diplomat on May 29, Jerome Cohen makes an impassioned and well-reasoned argument for states in East Asia to utilize independent, third-party arbitration mechanisms wherever possible to challenge China’s maximalist claims. This was very much the theme of a question I asked Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at his opening keynote address at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue. Essentially, I asked the question as I wanted to challenge his strong theme of international law in his speech by highlighting Tokyo’s seeming reticence to take the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute to international arbitration. His answer was effectively to support the statement made by former foreign minister Koichiro Gemba in November 2012, that Japan is subject to compulsory arbitration under UNCLOS, but it is up to China to bring the case to court because Japan doesn’t consider there to be a dispute. But I realized as soon as I had sat down (isn’t it always the way?) that I had asked the wrong question, and a slight tailoring of the content could have proven much more interesting and even pointed Tokyo in the direction of a potential new route to manage tensions with China. What I should have asked is whether Abe would also consider taking the overlapping exclusive economic zones (EEZs) in the East China Sea, north of and separate to the islands dispute, to international arbitration as international law

suggests should happen when peaceful negotiation is not working. The overlapping EEZ claims, which cover an area of approximately 40,000 square kilometers, would fall under the jurisdiction of the International Tribunal of the Law of the Sea as they do not rely on competing claims of sovereignty over land. An agreement was previously reached by Japan and China in 2008 on joint resource exploration, but it was never implemented as relations soured quickly following the arrest of a Chinese trawler captain in 2010. With negotiations having failed over the overlapping EEZ claims, Japan would be well within its rights, in fact even obliged, to bring the case to independent arbitration. China may well not accept ITLOS jurisdiction, much as it has rejected jurisdiction of the Philippine arbitration tribunal brought in the South China Sea, but bringing this case would have various benefits for Japan. First, it would demonstrate Tokyo’s willingness to abide by and utilize international law. Japan has come under criticism for not bringing the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands to international arbitration or officially recognizing it as a dispute. Taking the overlapping EEZs to court would deflect this criticism to some extent by reflecting Japan’s strong desire to resolve disputes through international law and focusing attention on another dispute resolution process. Second, there is a clearer argument for taking this case to court as the overlapping area does not include any land mass and is therefore less obviously under either state’s administration. This is in contrast to the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands dispute, which Japan suggests China must bring to court because Tokyo already administers the islands. Third, it may help to resolve a niggling, if low-priority, dispute between China and Japan, and therefore act as a confidence-building measure between the two, at a time when negotiations over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands are out of the question. Even if China did not accept jurisdiction of ITLOS over the dispute, as it is within its rights to do having voluntarily opted out via Article 298 of independent arbitration mechanisms, an arbitral tribunal could be sought by Japan that would nevertheless reach a conclusion on the dispute without China’s involvement (as is likely to occur within the Philippine case over the South China Sea). This would at least provide an independent decision on the dispute, even if not accepted by China. This suggestion would therefore be beneficial for Japan, by creating a new legal challenge to China that could in the best case resolve a maritime dispute, and in the worst case at least demonstrate Tokyo’s willingness to utilize international arbitration. Why won’t Japan take the overlapping EEZs to international arbitration? This seems like a much better question to ask. ©2014, The Diplomat Reprinted with permission

Selected press coverage


CEIP Eurasia Outlook 3 June 2014

How Russia Is Misreading Asia By Alexander Gabuev The Kremlin’s own “pivot to Asia” is not entirely new and should not be viewed exclusively as a response to its deteriorating relations with the West. As the global crisis struck in 2009, Russia discovered that China’s GDP was growing at the same pace that the Russian economy was contracting. That same year China surpassed Germany as Russia’s largest trade partner—the position it still holds now and will hold in the near future. The Western reaction to Moscow’s policies in Crimea and Ukraine, however, make Russia’s turn to the East more of a necessity for the Kremlin. During his May visit to Shanghai, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping watched over the signing of some 40 bilateral documents, nearly a third of them—half-baked memorandums of understanding. In normal circumstances these documents wouldn’t have reached the leaders’ desks. This stack may have been meant to impress others, but the basic truth is: the significance of Asia (most notably China) for the Russian economy is set to grow regardless of the dynamic in Moscow’s relations with the West. Pivoting to Asia requires that Russia develop a strategy which will include not only optimistic projections of the growing Chinese appetite for Russian resources, but also possible risks deriving from a deteriorating security situation in the region. To craft its Asian strategy, Moscow needs to understand the complex processes now under way in the region and to foster an extensive network of official and unofficial contacts with all significant players. Does Moscow have this kind of vision? Russia’s recent showing at the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore provides some clues. Over the years, the Shangri-La Dialogue, organized by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), has become the one event which brings together all leading figures in defense and foreign policy communities from the whole of the Asia-Pacific. The United States and China as the major players have over the years sent large delegations with dozens of policy-makers (with the United States slightly in the lead, status-wise, as its delegation is normally chaired by the secretary of defense while the Chinese prefer to send second-tier figures). Against this background, Russia’s delegation has always been small. Sergey Ivanov, the current Kremlin chief of staff, came to Singapore a couple of times as a deputy prime minister in charge of the defense industry. Russian defense ministers never showed up. This year the official Russian delegation was comprised of just five people including this author (even Germany had a larger list). Anatoly Antonov,


The Shangri-La Dialogue

deputy minister of defense, confirmed his participation only on the last day—without him Russia would be absent from official panels of the forum due to the low status of its delegation. The networking capacity and ability to talk to other participants (which is the most valuable part of events like Shangri-La or the Munich Security Conference) was thus limited, lowering the Moscow delegation’s opportunity to hear insights from knowledgeable people from the region. To those others, this suggested how little importance Russia really attaches to security issues in Asia. What made things even worse though was Antonov’s speech. Anatoly Antonov appeared on the panel alongside the PLA Deputy Chief of General Staff Wang Guanzhong. Others nicknamed this panel the “naughty boys corner.” And both presenters met the expectations. Lieutenant General Wang accused the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel of provocation and intimidation. As for Antonov, he dedicated half of his speech to a wholly different topic: the need for AsiaPacific to stand up to “color revolutions,” which Russian deputy minister of defense portrayed as a Western plot to overthrow legitimate governments like Ukraine’s previous one. Antonov did not even mention most of the questions relevant for the audience, such as maritime security in the South China Sea, the role of U.S. military presence or the application of international law to maritime disputes in the region. What he did say about the need to increase transparency for drills and military build-ups were largely lost on the listeners. As I spoke to other participants afterwards, most people remembered only the Ukrainian part of Antonov’s speech. Given the fact that majority of the participants didn’t accept Russia’s actions in Crimea, for fear that they could be a possible model for China to settle disputes with its neighbors unilaterally, this was not a good sign. Some Asian participants concluded that Russia completely lacks understanding of what is going on in Asia in terms of security architecture. Some were more blunt and even expressed their condolences to me. As an accomplished and highly experienced diplomat, Anatoly Antonov, of course, may have just been seeking to steer clear of controversial issues. However, such performance creates a sense of profound misreading by Moscow of the audience and the format of the Shangri-La Dialogue. As Russia pivots to Asia, it needs to try harder to close the gap in understanding the region, which is becoming so important for Russia’s future. ©2014, CEIP Eurasia Outlook Reprinted with permission

Global Times 3 June 2014

Regional harsh accusations overshadow Shangri-La talks By Ei Sun Oh Perhaps the number “13” is unlucky after all. For, over this weekend, the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), the premier Asia-Pacific security forum held annually in Singapore, was unfortunately shrouded in a thicket of almost tangible tension. The first salvo was launched by none other than the increasingly controversial Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. During his keynote speech at SLD opening dinner, Abe made a thinly veiled accusation that China upset the status quo in the East China Sea by threat of force. Abe talked about the need to change the country’s legal basis, a reference to the amendment of Japan’s pacifist constitution, to enable it to take part in “collective self-defense.” But amiss in Abe’s extensive description of the “new Japanese” concept was any mention of Japan’s militaristic past which still casts a dark pall over many of its victimized neighbors. The next morning, as if in sync, US secretary of defense Chuck Hagel wasted no time in his keynote speech to directly confront China by accusing the latter of unilaterally altering the status quo in the South China Sea. Hagel followed up by officially stating the US disapproval of China’s setting up of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea. Echoing Abe, Hagel agreed with the need to amend the Japanese constitution, and even mooted the reassessment of their joint defense treaty. The unusually blunt and strident US posture during this year’s SLD startled many observers. But a careful examination of the recent chain of events both regionally and worldwide may provide some clues as to Hagel’s tough tone. A rapidly emergent China, with its attendant rising confidence in tackling foreign and regional matters, almost inevitably gave rise to the perception among some US policymakers that the hitherto more or less unchallenged regional leadership of the US in the Asia-Pacific region was being increasingly sapped. This resulted in the US urgency to reassert its preeminent role in at least the security matters of the region. Hence the notions of “pivoting” and “rebalancing” rang aloud in US rhetoric versus this region. This sense of acute leadership reinstatement is further exacerbated by recent US foreign policy fiascos around the world. The Edward Snowden-revealed US blatant spying on foes and allies alike continued to gnaw at global US credibility and moral standing. US President Barack Obama’s own threat of use of force to resolve the Syrian civil war was essentially upstaged by a last-minute Russian brokered deal to avert imminent attack.

Yet the Chinese responded to these seemingly joint attacks with a two-pronged approach. The more genteel response was delivered by its former vice foreign minister Fu Ying, who reassured the region of China’s peaceful intension and long-standing contribution to regional security. The more head-on response came in the form of off-thecuff remarks Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the General Staff of the PLA, who characterized both Abe and Hagel’s speeches as being provocative to China. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the general mood among many of the SLD participants from regional neighbors was such that while potential Japanese remilitarization and the return of US hegemony in the region were certainly not welcome, a certain perception of increasing Chinese assertiveness in the region, rightly or otherwise, was also taking root. China needs to redouble its efforts in assuring its neighbors of its purported peaceful rise. But despite their confrontational postures, both Wang and Hagel made ample mentions of various ongoing and perspective security cooperation mechanisms between the US and China, giving the impression that their “new type of major power relationship” could still hold up despite stark differences. In addition, Abe, Hagel and Wang variously gave high praises for the important roles in regional security played by East Asian Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum as well as ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting-Plus. It is in this sense that despite the dense and serious mood permeating this year’s SLD, a glimmer of hope can still be gleaned. ©2014, Global Times Reprinted with permission

Global Times 3 June 2014

China hits back at Hagel comments By Wei Lai in Singapore and Jiang Jie in Beijing Maritime disputes feature heavily at Shangri-La Dialogue China initiated tit-for-tat reaction to criticism on maritime issues at this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue as the country is expected to exhibit tougher diplomacy. “China has had sovereignty over the Xisha and Nansha Islands in the South China Sea for more than 2,000 years and there have been no doubts on that from neighboring countries for a long time,” said Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at the summit on Sunday. Wang added that the recent disputes are mainly a result of the discovery of oil reserves in the 1970s, reported the PLA Daily.

Selected press coverage


Meanwhile, China’s JH-7 fighter-bombers have been on regular missions to support Chinese coast guards and guard the oil rig in the Xisha Islands, according to the IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly. “It is a blatant provocation through illusive remarks directed at China. China has never started any conflicts, but we have to respond to provocations started by some countries,” Wang said. This came after Japan and the US made speeches on China’s South China Sea disputes with neighboring countries including Vietnam and the Philippines at the summit. Multiple vessel collisions have occurred between China and Vietnam in the waters of a Chinese oil rig operating near the Xisha Islands and led to riots targeting foreign companies in Vietnam’s southern industrial zones last month, while Vietnam have stated that it was considering suing China over the territorial row. The Philippines have already filed legal action to resolve the disputes in the South China Sea. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US was committed to geopolitical rebalance in the region. “China has undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea. We firmly oppose any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion or the threat of force to assert these claims,” said Hagel. Japan also vowed to play a “more proactive role” in making peace and it would support ASEAN countries’ efforts, said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the summit, the BBC reported. Wang described Hagel’s speech as “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation … to create troubles and make provocations.” China will continue to step up dialogue and coordination with ASEAN in defense and security areas, Wang said. Jin Canrong, deputy director of the School of International Studies at the Renmin University of China, told the Global Times that it may become “normal practice” for China and the US to leave “aggressive” comments. “But the outspokenness in public does not indicate the two sides will reach beyond the bottom line,” said Jin. The Shangri-La Dialogue, officially known as the Asian Security Summit, is organized by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS), a London-based think tank. Alexander Neill, a senior research fellow with IISS, said that the summit is an open platform and would like to cooperate with China to hold a branch dialogue in the country. An anonymous military representative from Indonesia told the Global Times that China is more similar to ASEAN countries in terms of economic development and the security order in Asia could not be solid without China. Chinese President Xi Jinping clearly stated during his visit to Europe in March that the new security concept in Asia would not exclude countries beyond the region,


The Shangri-La Dialogue

and Europe is still “observing” the construction of Asia’s security order, according to Francois Godement, head of the Asia and China Program of the European Council on Foreign Relations. Godement told the Global Times that the military alliance between Japan and the US shares a sound basis in the narrow definition of military security. It would be fragile once the definition broadens. “The EU has shown a conservative and meticulous attitude toward participation in Asian security affairs. Europe has more interests in economic cooperation with Asia,” Godement said. A senior military official from Israel told the Global Times that the US should be cautious in its Asia pivot strategy. “It is so far hard to see what core assets the US is holding to make the policy work effectively and smoothly. It would require in-depth observation and plans in advance to judge the situation in the Middle East if it failed to realize the strategy,” the unnamed official said. ©2014, Global Times Reprinted with permission

Bloomberg 4 June 2014

Asia Territory Spats Pose Danger to Trade, Singapore Warns By Rosalind Mathieson and Linus Chua The risk of territorial disputes damaging trade in Asia is “very real” and the region must focus on shoring up economic links as well as security ties, according to Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. “It’s completely artificial to think that there are somehow firewalls between trade and security,” Ng, 55, said yesterday in an interview at the Ministry of Defence. “We shouldn’t from a security point of view be dominating headlines every few other days and I don’t think it’s necessarily a positive if this continues for the region. At some point it may impact trade and our real economies.” Ng was speaking after a weekend forum of defense ministers and military leaders in Singapore, where the U.S. and China openly criticized each other over their agenda in the region and China’s claims over large parts of the East China Sea and South China Sea dominated discussion. The meeting highlighted the growing pains in Asia as China emerges as a military and economic power, challenging decades of U.S. dominance. “China’s rise is a fact,” Ng said in the interview. “China needs to articulate its own vision, and its own position in this new, revised world order. Our approach has been that dialogue is essential, inclusivity is important.”

‘Destabilizing’ Actions U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel used a May 31 speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore to say China has in recent months “undertaken destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan did not welcome dangerous encounters by jets or warships. Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, the deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army, broke from his prepared remarks to the forum to call their speeches “unimaginable.” “If China and Japan got into a war, that would be a real problem,” Norman Boersma, Bahamas-based chief investment officer of Templeton Global Equity Group, which manages $130 billion in assets, said in an interview in Singapore. “These are two big economies and they would have a fundamental impact.” The U.S. comments follow Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung’s appeal for a “stronger voice” from the U.S. against China after clashes between coast guard and fishing vessels near an oil rig China placed in contested waters off Vietnam’s coast. The Philippines, dwarfed militarily by China, has sought support from the U.S. and the United Nations against China’s encroachment into shoals off its coast. Quite Strategic Ng, a medical doctor who previously served in the education and manpower portfolios, said given the current tensions, the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact and other multinational deals are “quite strategic, not just good to have but a must to have.” The U.S.-led 12-nation TPP, which would cover an area with about $28 trillion in annual economic output, doesn’t include China. “You certainly don’t want a scenario where your frameworks are weighted towards security,” Ng said. “From Singapore’s point of view we would not be upset if for example there were no big issues to discuss at the Shangri-La Dialogue. That’s not a bad outcome for us.” Under President Xi Jinping, China has taken a more assertive approach to territory. It claims much of the South China Sea under its “nine-dash line” map, first published in 1947. The map extends hundreds of miles south from China’s Hainan Island to equatorial waters off the coast of Borneo, taking in some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes. Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines also claim parts of the sea, while Singapore is not a claimant. Self-Restraint The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations on May 12 called for self-restraint on the territorial disputes. The statement did not mention China by name and Asean does not take a position on the actual claims. China is Asean’s biggest trading partner. Asean is seeking a code of conduct for the waters, although talks have made little progress since China agreed

in July to start discussions, and China introducing fishing rules in January requiring foreign vessels to seek permission before entering waters off its southern coast. “To those accusations that we haven’t moved resolutely or quick enough on the code of conduct, Asean and China should say agreed, mea culpa,” Ng said. “There has been progress. Our foreign colleagues will have to work quicker, sharper and smarter to have tangible outcomes.” Magic Contrivance Tackling some aspects individually may be best, given the difficulty of addressing sovereignty, he said. “It’s easier to break it down into smaller pieces and not expect some magic contrivance that suddenly removes all disputes and removes all historical baggage. That’s just completely unrealistic.” Singapore urges Thailand to move quickly toward elections, Ng said. The country’s military leaders seized power on May 22 after six months of debilitating anti-government street protests, the 12th coup in eight decades. “We are concerned -- all countries are -- that the longer the period of military rule, the farther any country deviates from civilian rule and democratically-elected governments, and greater the risk for autocracy and the abuses that can come.” The U.S. and Australia have suspended military cooperation with Thailand. Singapore carries out training in Thailand, “which they have kindly said we can continue and our troops are still safe there,” Ng said. “Things are so fluid that articulations of deeply held positions may not be productive at this time.” Defense Spending Singapore defense spending will remain fairly steady, he said. The city-state allocated S$8.6 billion ($6.8 billion) in 2004, and increased spending to S$12.2 billion last year, he said in Parliament earlier this year. “We don’t want big dips or big jumps because we feel that’s the most disruptive for your militaries,” he said yesterday. “We’ve kept pace with real growth, or inflation.” Turning back to the regional territorial disputes, Ng said they “need not be intractable”. “Neither do they need to precipitate outcomes which would be detrimental to the great promise that Asia holds,” he said. “This is the region of greatest promise, and greatest performance in the past decade or so,” he said. “The question I suppose to ask is, what are we fighting about?” ©2014, Bloomberg Reprinted with permission

Selected press coverage


Wall Street Journal 4 June 2014

China’s Timely Power Play Intimidating the neighbors is most effective when America is ambivalent about whether to lead a forceful response. By David Feith Singapore: On the sidelines of this week’s Shangri-La Dialogue, Asia’s leading annual security conference, diplomats and policy experts largely agreed on two points. First, China sees the remaining Obama years as an opportune time to keep pushing for dominance in the Western Pacific. And second, China hurts itself with the sort of bluster it displayed at the conference, essentially daring its weaker neighbors to seek U.S. help. Yet the first point undermines the second: As Washington seeks primarily to minimize overseas commitments, it isn’t well-suited to help its Asian friends resist Chinese bullying. So Beijing’s bluster may seem short-sighted, but it is perfectly rational. Intimidating the neighbors is most effective when America is ambivalent about whether to lead a forceful response. At Shangri-La, China’s offensive started early. In his keynote address, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stressed that “all countries must observe international law” and highlighted Tokyo’s willingness to help the Philippines, Vietnam and others facing illegal land and sea grabs by China. When the floor opened for questions, a Chinese colonel asked how Mr. Abe presumes to speak for regional peace given his recent visit to Tokyo’s Yasakuni Shrine, which honors Japan’s war dead, including some convicted of war crimes. Mr. Abe responded by reiterating Japan’s “acute remorse” for its past, along with its commitment to democracy and human rights, but the Chinese colonel had made his point. The ghosts of Imperial Japan threaten Tokyo’s ability to deter Chinese aggression through cooperation with neighbors, especially fellow economic powerhouse and U.S. ally South Korea. So China conjures these convenient spirits at every opportunity, to the frustration of Tokyo and Washington. China’s second Shangri-La salvo came after U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel criticized Beijing for “destabilizing, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea,” where the U.S. “firmly opposes any nation’s use of intimidation, coercion or the threat of force.” Echoing Japan’s leader, Mr. Hagel stressed the virtues of “wellestablished international rules and norms.” In response, a Chinese general posed several questions couched in the language of international law: When Tokyo


The Shangri-La Dialogue

nationalized East China Sea islands in 2012, didn’t it unilaterally alter the status quo? When Washington says those islands are covered by the U.S.-Japan defense treaty, isn’t that a threat of force? When the U.S. set up air-defense identification zones like the one declared last year by China, from what international body did it first seek permission? Sure, the questions were cynical, and their answers don’t favor Beijing. For one, Tokyo has administered the Senkaku Islands for decades, and the U.S. established air-defense zones in consultation with neighbors whose territory wasn’t being encroached upon. But again Beijing’s representative delivered a message: While challenging the liberal international order with old-school territorial revanchism, China will smugly justify its behavior in 21stcentury liberal terms. Except when it chooses not to, explained China’s next spokesman at Shangri-La. Yes, China signed the Law of the Sea Treaty 20 years ago, said Gen. Wang Guanzhong, but its right to 90% of the South China Sea is patrimony from the ancient Han Dynasty. So China will continue ignoring the United Nations arbitration case initiated by the Philippines and backed by the U.S. and Japan. What are Washington and its friends going to do about it? Not much, boasted China as the summit concluded. Because, as Gen. Zhu Chenghu diagnosed, American foreign policy suffers from “erectile dysfunction.” Citing U.S. weakness toward Vladimir Putin, the general said that he doubts Washington “will get involved or use military intervention once there is a territorial dispute involving China and its neighbors.” That’s a dangerous belief for Chinese officialdom to hold. First, it signals more grabs for territory, natural resources and shipping lanes. And if China misjudges American passivity, it could initiate a shooting war with the U.S. in East Asia. Which brings us back to the Shangri-La delegates’ common view that the Obama administration is unlikely to use force to halt Chinese aggression in the South China Sea. The U.S. is “pivoting” to Asia but also shrinking its military. Sixty percent of U.S. air and naval forces will be in Asia by 2020, up from 50% today, but that will be 60% of a smaller force. A Pentagon assistant secretary admitted in March that for budget reasons the pivot “is being looked at again, because candidly it can’t happen.” Last week President Obama excluded the pivot from his West Point address. And the top U.S. commander in Asia warns of shortcomings in his submarine fleet and ability to conduct amphibious operations such as recapturing islands. Under these circumstances, China may incur few costs from pushing its neighbors toward Washington. Beijing’s calculation appears to be that the U.S. will boost military cooperation with Japan, start returning troops to Philippine bases, make port calls in Vietnam and the like—but mostly

watch while China changes facts on the ground and in the air. For Beijing, that’s a good deal. Consider Chinese policy toward North Korea. For years, Washington has warned China that unless it curbs the nuclear ambitions of its clients in Pyongyang, the U.S. military presence in East Asia would expand with new missile defenses and other assets that Beijing dislikes. China would prefer that the U.S. not have such forces in East Asia— but Beijing has always prioritized its interest in helping Pyongyang survive and threaten Chinese rivals in Asia and beyond. The benefits of a nuclear North Korea outweigh the costs of a limited U.S. presence in the neighborhood. China seems to have bet likewise in the South China Sea, that now is the time to bully and bluster because the U.S. response will be limited. Unless the Obama administration changes that calculus, Beijing is making a rational play. ©2014, Wall Street Journal Reprinted with permission

Foreign Policy 4 June 2014

Uncharming & Offensive By Dhruva Jaishankar SINGAPORE — By the standards of Asian security summits -- generally carefully choreographed and stilted affairs filled with coded messages and platitudes about cooperation -- the May 30-June 1 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore was extraordinary. There had been much speculation as to how China would respond to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s keynote address at this annual event organized by the London-based think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, and how Beijing would represent itself in the aftermath of its November extension of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) over disputed islands in the East China Sea and recent run-ins with the Philippines and Vietnam over contested territory in the South China Sea. Much to the surprise of many in attendance, China opted to field a large delegation that included 12 officers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) -- twice as much brass as the official U.S. delegation. And the officers, along with Chinese civilian officials and scholars, were omnipresent, speaking up and challenging speakers at every session in a bid to present Chinese viewpoints on everything from disputed territory and cyber espionage to defense spending and international law. This may have been intended as a charm offensive, but it proved not very charming and somewhat offensive. PLA Maj. Gen. Yao Yunzhu engaged in a lengthy diatribe against U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, in which she insinuated that upholding U.S. treaty commitments was “a sort of threat of force, coercion, or intimidation.” She even

spoke over the session’s moderator, which didn’t win her many points with neutrals. French Defense Minister JeanYves Le Drian went so far as to characterize a question by Chinese scholar Wang Yiwei as “insolent.” Yet there appeared to be plenty of offense to go around. The Chinese delegation expressed umbrage over speeches by Abe and Hagel. Going dramatically off-script, PLA Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong called the two addresses “staged provocations,” adding, “I feel that the speeches of Mr. Abe and Mr. Hagel have been pre-coordinated.... They supported and encouraged each other in provoking and challenging China.” Abe’s speech barely mentioned China by name -- but, in Wang’s view, violated “the spirit of the [Shangri-La] Dialogue.” Apparently, Abe’s announcement that Japan would assume a “proactive contribution to peace” and uphold the rule of law came across as far too menacing. Meanwhile, Wang called Hagel’s presentation, which was broadly in line with previously-stated U.S. policy, “a speech with tastes of hegemony, a speech with expressions of coercion and intimidation, a speech with flaring rhetoric that usher destabilizing factors into the Asia-Pacific to stir up trouble, and a speech with unconstructive attitude.” Needless to say, Wang’s urgings immediately following these comments to promote strategic trust in the region came off as somewhat insincere. There were two broad themes in the Chinese delegation’s talking points throughout the summit. The first was that China was simply taking “countermeasures” in response to others’ provocations, and was entirely blameless for any of the tensions that happened to be escalating in the region. According to Yao, there was nothing wrong with China’s extension of its ADIZ into the East China Sea. “What international law has China violated?” she asked Hagel. Meanwhile, Wang described the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) as a “weapon” against China -- never mind that the United States still faces criticism in Asia for not having ratified it. Absolutely nothing, it seems, was -- or could be -- Beijing’s fault. A second line of argument employed by Chinese officials was simple denial. Speaking at the beginning of the summit, former Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying, a seasoned diplomat and charmer, accused the Philippines of provocative actions in the disputed Scarborough Shoal, while denying that there was any U.S.-mediated agreement (as was widely reported) between Beijing and Manila to mutually stand down. Yao, similarly, spoke loftily about China’s concerns about nuclear proliferation in its neighborhood but, when asked specifically about it, conveniently sidestepped Beijing’s less-than-helpful role in stemming the spread of nuclear technology and material. Abe and Hagel’s speeches were forward-leaning attempts at showing their countries’ security commitments to their region, but they were far from militaristic.

Selected press coverage


China may have had reason to be somewhat concerned about the content of their remarks, and in certain instances Beijing’s viewpoints were reasonable. But by falling back so easily and instinctively on outrage, dismissing any criticism of China’s behavior as groundless or illegitimate, and portraying its unilateral actions as responses to provocations, Beijing did not win any friends in Singapore. Neither denial nor victimhood placated the countries along China’s periphery that were hoping very much for a quantum of reassurance. If China has serious leadership aspirations in Asia it will have to convince, and not just compel, its neighbors. On the one hand, by engaging in forums such as the Shangri-La Dialogue, Beijing clearly desires to play a role in and actively shape the region’s security architecture. And yet the nature of its participation in official or semi-official discussions is often counterproductive, presenting a truly worrying aspect of China’s rise. As Australian attendee and editor Sam Roggeveen noted, China’s behavior at the event showed “that Beijing, the region’s superpower, may not be looking for friends or allies, just supplicants.” Indeed, for China to be a true leader in Asia, it would have to do a much better job acquiring followers. ©2014, Foreign Policy Reprinted with permission

Straits Times 5 June 2014

Better war of words than clashes at sea By William Choong Speaking at the Shangri-La Dialogue last week, LieutenantGeneral Wang Guanzhong dropped a proverbial bomb in the Island Ballroom. Halfway through his 38-minute speech, the deputy chief of general staff of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accused Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and United States Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel of “coordinating” and “supporting” one another in comments targeted at China. Lt-Gen Wang said that such US-Japan collusion was “unimaginable” and went against the spirit of constructive exchanges at the dialogue. In his keynote address last Friday, Mr Abe had criticised China - albeit indirectly - for consolidating changes “to the status quo by aggregating one fait accompli after another”. Speaking hours before Lt-Gen Wang on Saturday, Mr Hagel decried China’s “destabilising, unilateral actions (in) asserting its claims in the South China Sea”. In addition to slamming China’s behaviour in the South China Sea, Mr Hagel stressed that the US would remain primus inter pares in the Asia-Pacific. This was in direct oppo-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

sition to China’s view, which wants a regional order for Asians by Asians - a position seen to exclude the United States. In recent months, regional tensions have involved China, be it Beijing’s tussle with the Philippines and Vietnam over disputed features in the South China Sea, or its confrontation with Japan over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands. More recently, the US has accused China of cyber espionage of industrial secrets. Moreover, the debates at the dialogue brought into sharp relief pressing regional issues. They should help beat the path to some degree of resolution. In his keynote speech, Mr Abe said that Japan would play a bigger security role in the region, by amending its Constitution so that Japan could come to the aid of its ally, the United States. Tokyo would also be sending coast guard ships to the Philippines to enhance the “security of the seas” (read: against Chinese intrusions). Unsurprisingly, some Chinese delegates were shifting uncomfortably in their seats as Mr Abe spoke. But it is probably true to say that apart from China and South Korea, many countries in the Asia-Pacific do not have major problems with Japan playing a role in regional security. In his address, Lt-Gen Wang gave the clearest exposition of China’s controversial nine-dashed line claim to the South China Sea. China, he said, discovered the islands in the South China Sea as early as the Han Dynasty; the nine-dashed line was drawn and declared in 1948, 46 years before 1994, when the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (Unclos) was ratified. Moreover, Unclos has no retrospective effect. He added an extra sting in his bite - the US has not ratified Unclos. It is generally accepted that the nine-dashed line is not consistent with Unclos, the gold standard for assessing disputed claims to maritime areas. But China’s clearer position on the nine-dashed line should add impetus to the conclusion of talks for a binding Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, which would at the least enshrine norms of behaviour. On another front, some serious pressure was brought on Japan to admit that Tokyo has a dispute with Beijing over the Senkaku/ Diaoyu islands, and consequently should take it to third-party arbitration. Eric Li, the managing director of Shanghai-based Chengwei Capital, lauded Japan’s “elegant” position on the islands - while Tokyo was all for the rule of law in the resolution of disputes, Tokyo maintained that the Senkaku islands were not in dispute. As a result, the rule of law did not apply. “Congratulations,” he told Mr Shinsuke Sugiyama, Japan’s Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, with a touch of sarcasm. The over-arching theme of the dialogue, however, was the competing narratives between China and the United States about America’s role in the region.

Both China and the US are working hard to elude the Thucydides Trap, whereby an emerging power clashes with a status quo power. In June last year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama crafted a “new model of great power relations” that sought to mitigate the tensions in their relationship. More significantly, the US has invited the PLA Navy to participate in the Rim of the Pacific maritime warfare exercises slated to commence later this month. Away from the public glare, Mr Hagel and Lt-Gen Wang had a “cordial and constructive” meeting on the sidelines of the dialogue, Pentagon officials said. Both men agreed that both countries would work to achieve a new model of relations. Said Lt-Gen Wang: “It’s only natural that we have differences… it’s not something to be feared.” There were also notable proposals to improve regional security. Dr Dino Patti Djalal, a top Indonesian diplomat, said that Asean should use “positive brinkmanship” or a harder approach to achieve outcomes such as the South China Sea Code of Conduct. Mr Abe suggested that regional countries disclose their military budgets to boost the standing of the East Asia Summit. The dialogue also saw increased interest from the media. Phoenix Television, a Hong Kong-based network with 400 million viewers in China, hosted a live debate involving diplomats and politicians from Singapore, China, the US and India. Summing up, Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen acknowledged that there were some emotionally charged moments. Still, he said that it was better to “trade hard words than other things that follow”. Indeed, the gloves were off at the dialogue this year. But it is better that the boxing and bouting is done in the Island Ballroom rather than on Asia’s high seas. ©2014, Straits Times Reprinted with permission

People’s Daily 6 June 2014

Countries do not have to reach consensus at Shangri-La Dialogue On June 2 2014, the annual IISS Asia Security Summit and Shangri-La Dialogue concluded in Singapore. During the meeting, defense ministers and politicians from over 30 countries attended several rounds of bilateral and multilateral talks. As is generally the case, some countries tried to further their interests by declaring their security strategies. This year, the US and Japan had an even stronger incentive to adopt this tactic. US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US would enhance the Army’s force posture and

operate 60% of both Navy and Air Force fleets out of the Pacific by 2020, while Japanese Prime Minster Shinzo Abe declared that Japan would play a “greater and more proactive role” in regional security in Asia. These statements have one thing in common: their security strategies are not compatible with other countries’ security interests. What do the two expect to gain? According to Hagel, the “strategic rebalance” of the US will not be altered by any adjustments to its domestic financial mechanism. On the contrary, the process will be accelerated. The statement aims at further strengthening the military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific region. At the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Japanese delegation repeatedly emphasized that they would build a “strong Japan”, and that expanding military power is necessary for the construction of a “strong Japan”. In all previous Shangri-La Dialogues, China was a constant theme due to its increasing power. It was a common practice for certain countries to take advantage of an opportunity to “gang up” on China. However, at this year’s meeting such actions have been much less frequent. This multilateral platform has allowed China to declare the bottom line of its position on security and reduce the unnecessary worries of neighbouring countries. Restricted by the complexities of the security environment, the Shangri-La Dialogue could hardly come to any consensus. In fact, there was no need. From the statements made by different countries with different standpoints, both the potential upsides to be promoted and the potential risks to be dealt with are readily apparent. ©2014, People’s Daily Reprinted with permission

The Economist 7 June 2014

The perils of candour PUBLIC rows can be a welcome relief from the stifling obfuscation and pussyfooting courtesy in which much diplomacy is cloaked. So optimists saw an unseemly spat in Singapore on June 1st—between China on the one hand, and America and Japan on the other—as a positive development. Mealy-mouthed antagonists were at least speaking frankly about their concerns, clearing the air. Frayed tempers exposed the concealed limits of national patience. Through the murk of mutual misunderstanding, the edges of “strategic clarity” could at last be discerned. That clarity, however, is not an unmixed boon: it revealed the depth of the gulf separating China’s view of its future role from the West’s hopes about what sort of great power China might become. The forum for the tiff was this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue, an annual shindig for Asia’s defence establishments, held in a hotel of that name in Singapore. As an

Selected press coverage


opportunity to air the region’s security concerns, this year’s dialogue, the 13th, was well timed. Such worries have been mounting sharply over the past six months, as China’s neighbours have taken fright at what they see as its aggressive pursuit of disputed territorial claims. In November 2013 China unilaterally declared an AirDefence Identification Zone (ADIZ) in the East China Sea. It covered the Senkaku or Diaoyu islands, which are administered by Japan. In January it announced the equivalent of an ADIZ for fish, in the waters of the South China Sea, requiring foreign fishing vessels to seek its permission. Then, in May, China moved a massive oil rig, accompanied by a large flotilla, to drill in waters seen by Vietnam as part of its Exclusive Economic Zone; it started construction work at a shoal elsewhere in the South China Sea claimed by the Philippines; and it flew fighter jets dangerously close to Japanese surveillance planes near the Senkakus. China probably feared all along that this year’s dialogue would be an opportunity for concerted China-bashing, orchestrated by America, with Japan as the lead soloist. That fear will have solidified into a near-certainty when it learned that the keynote speech would be delivered by Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, whom China shuns as a troublemaker intent on reviving Japan’s militarist past. So the Chinese delegation was not headed, as others have been, by its defence minister. Some of the top brass from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), however, were in attendance, hackles poised to be raised. They were duly offended when Mr Abe’s speech turned out to be largely, if implicitly, directed at China and its recent behaviour. Mr Abe promised that Japan will play an enhanced role in regional security. He volunteered an offer of patrol boats to the Philippines and Vietnam—seeming, from China’s point of view, to be emboldening those countries to stand up to it. It all seemed to hint at a kind of regional collective selfdefence mechanism, aimed at China. Then Chuck Hagel, America’s secretary of defence, used his speech to endorse Mr Abe’s ideas, and to accuse China of “destabilising, unilateral actions” in the South China Sea. He also stressed the importance of America’s strategic “pivot” or “rebalance” towards Asia. He may have felt the need to counter the disappointment felt among some of America’s Asian allies about a foreign-policy speech that Barack Obama had made on May 28th. The president made no reference to the rebalance, and, in suggesting that terrorism remained the biggest security threat to America, raised questions about whether American strategy had “pivoted” at all. Asians have noticed that the pivot is a policy American leaders tend to talk about only when they are in Asia. China, however, will have noticed that Mr Obama also said that America “must always lead on the world stage”. The emerging strategic clarity is that China is no longer happy with America “leading” indefinitely in the seas that are China’s backyard. Moreover, Mr Obama said America


The Shangri-La Dialogue

would “use military force, unilaterally if necessary…when the security of our allies is in danger”. America keeps reminding China that its security treaty with Japan covers the Senkakus, so this could be taken as a threat. It was left to Lieutenant-General Wang Guanzhong, deputy chief of the PLA’s General Staff Department, to return fire on China’s behalf. He did this with gusto, departing from his prepared speech. He called Mr Hagel’s speech “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation”. It was “not constructive”. And, in an obvious reference to Mr Abe, General Wang said that China would never allow “ruthless, fascist and militaristic aggression to stage a comeback”. The consensus among non-Chinese delegates at the dialogue was that General Wang made a pretty poor fist of defending China’s position. His argument was crude, even childish; he dodged specific questions, and at times came close to talking gibberish. But if foreigners thought China had lost the argument, it probably did not care. A big Chinese press corps was on hand to cover their man heroically fighting China’s corner against terrible odds. If those are the house rules, let’s build a new house Western diplomats used to talk about how forums such as this were a way of “socialising” China. But China may be losing interest in being welcomed—“accommodated”, as some put it—by a Western-led club. It may well see the whole Shangri-La Dialogue, which is organised by a London-based think-tank, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, as a microcosm of an old world order it no longer feels bound to accept. Viewed from China, that order is one in which the West, and especially America, sets the agenda. They let China in, but only so long as it abides by the West’s house rules; other countries can team up to criticise it, hoping to thwart its rise to great-power status. Meanwhile, far from the discussions in the air-conditioned banqueting rooms of a luxury hotel, China is asserting its claims in the seas around it. There it encounters no resistance it cannot brush aside, for now. ©2014, The Economist Reprinted with permission

Nikkei Asian Review 11 June 2014

Daniel Twining: Is the “Chinese Dream” Asia’s nightmare? “We don’t think China wants to rule the world. China just wants to rule us,” remarked an anxious Southeast Asian official on the sidelines of the recent Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, the largest annual gathering of Asian security experts and officials. Over two days, that observation was echoed again and again as representatives from nearly every Asian and Western nation asked the same question in

different forms: “Whatever happened to China’s ‘peaceful rise’?” Beijing’s increasingly aggressive revisionism threatens the peace of Asia and the core interests of nearly every state in it. Recently, China has used gunboat diplomacy to assert a unilateral claim to vast swathes of the South China Sea; unilaterally declared an air defense zone over the Senkaku Islands administered by Japan; seized control of Philippine territories in the South China Sea; placed an oil rig in Vietnam’s territorial waters, causing the sinking of a Vietnamese ship that challenged it; intercepted American and Japanese military aircraft in skies far from China’s; and harassed the American, Japanese, Indian, Philippine, and Vietnamese navies in international waters and even, in some instances, in their home seas.   In Singapore, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel delivered a speech well-received by allies clearly anxious for reassurance. He invoked America’s formidable lead in military power and alliance partnerships. He outlined ongoing U.S. military exercises, naval ship visits, defense sales and other activities that reinforced the U.S. role as guarantor of an open regional order. He rejected use of force to assert territorial claims or limit freedom of navigation and airspace, and suggested that China had a choice: to recommit to international rules that have produced peace and pluralism, or to walk away from them and risk war.  This is what the region needed to hear. Too many Asians believe China has been pursuing “salami tactics” in the East and South China seas -- seizing control of a reef here and a shoal there, using armed force to drill for oil in another nation’s waters without its consent, demanding permission to allow Japanese planes to overfly Japanese islands in the Senkaku chain, and administering international waters as if they somehow belonged to China.  None of these provocations is itself sufficient to justify a U.S. military response. But collectively, they present a stark challenge to the foundations of Asian and global security. China increasingly appears to feel entitled to a new sphere of privileged interest across East and Southeast Asia. We have seen the results of the Russian version of this mindset in Ukraine. Yet somehow China’s government views American and allied efforts to shore up Asia’s shaky status quo as destabilizing. China claims only to be playing defense against “provocations” by others -- especially Japan, whose armed forces cannot legally even defend American allies against direct military attack, much less go on the offensive. China’s top military representative at the Singapore gathering, Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong, condemned Hagel’s remarks about upholding the status quo as being “full of hegemony, full of words of threat and intimidation.” It is not China, he asserted, but America that “usher(s) destabilizing factors into the Asia-Pacific to stir up trouble.”

The “Kissinger Trap” Perhaps the pathway to regional stability is what Chinese leaders call “a new type of great power relationship” with America. Don’t let those pesky Japanese and Filipinos drag you into war far from home, America’s Chinese friends advise. Rather, build a Sino-American condominium that elevates relations between the current and rising superpowers and allows us to respect each other’s core interests. In its more extreme form, this suggestion echoes the 15thcentury Treaty of Tordesillas between Spain and Portugal, in which the two powers agreed to divide up the New World between them. “We will be the predominant power in the Western Pacific,” whisper the Chinese; “everything from Hawaii eastward will remain part of Pax Americana.” A former senior Obama administration official dubs this the “Kissinger trap”: believing that a secret U.S.-China deal that subordinates American allies and subsidiary interests can be a foundation for great-power peace. In reality, it is more likely to erode it by edging America out of the world’s emerging center of wealth and power. In any event, Asian powers such as India and Japan would not go along with such a scheme; it is “inconceivable” that India would ever subordinate itself to China, says one leading Indian strategist. Indeed, a theme of this year’s Shangri-La Dialogue was the utter absence of consent across Asia to hand China a leadership role. “China only cares about the U.S.,” said another senior Asian official in Singapore. Indeed, America remains the pivot around which East Asian security turns -- because most Asian nations still find its leadership more reassuring than threatening. By contrast, China today seems only to offer a “might-makes-right” doctrine articulated thus by its foreign minister at another regional forum in 2010: “China is a big country and other countries are small countries, and that is just a fact.” If this is what President Xi Jinping’s “Chinese dream” means for Asia, its neighbors will undoubtedly want to stay in America’s orbit. ©2014, Nikkei Asian Review Reprinted with permission

Jakarta Post 16 June 2014

Indonesia and the shifting power in Asia Pacific By Nur Alia Pariwita People’s Liberation Army deputy chief Lt. Gen. Wang Guanzhong’s impromptu speech made headlines at the 13th Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore recently. In his remarks on the last day of the three-day meeting, Wang lashed out at the speeches made by Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and US Secretary of Defense Chuck

Selected press coverage


Hagel. Wang stated the two leaders cooperated with each other and took advantage of talking first to shoot out provocative messages against China. In his keynote speech at the opening dinner, Abe emphasized Japan’s proactive contribution to maintaining stability and peace in Asia. He reiterated Japan’s respect for the rule of law, democracy and human rights many times in his speech. Abe tried to persuade the international community that the changing regional security architecture in Asia had pushed Japan to reconstruct the legal basis to the right of collective self-defense and to international cooperation, including the use of force in Japan’s international peace mission to protect civilians. “Diplomatic speech” by Abe powerfully hinted that Japan ought to reinterpret its constitution in an attempt to safeguard national interests in the East China Sea and to foster security and order in the region. The rise of nationalism and remilitarization has become an intense debate in Japan these days, whether Japan should play a great and more active role in rebalancing power in Asia or stay on the “conventional pacifism” track with the mandate to create peace by a peaceful means. The next day, a more frank and direct speech was given by Hagel. He said that China had taken unilateral actions regarding its claims in the South China Sea and declaration of an Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea. Those actions, he said, have undermined stability in Asia. Even though the US takes no position on competing territorial claims, it certainly opposes any use of intimidation, coercion and force in asserting claims. As in the past, the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue, hosted by London-based think tank the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), was intriguing. It is (usually) a “diplomatic” meeting, but China’s reaction to Japan and the US this year was noteworthy behavior. Some say it looked like a drama, while others labeled it as a portrayal of the escalation of distrust among countries in Asia Pacific. However, at the same time, each country still shows eagerness to raise their objections and points of view. This depicts the essence of dialogue itself as an attempt to open a debate forum and find a peaceful solution. But what can Indonesia learn from the Shangri-La Dialogue this year anyway? One thing for sure is the next Indonesian president has a more challenging job in response to shifting power in Asia Pacific. The way in which the upcoming government formulizes its foreign and security policy will come under the regional and international spotlights. Then there are several points that should become the main concerns of the seventh president of Indonesia in shaping his foreign and security policy. First is continuation of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s policy. During his two terms as president, Indonesia has had quite impressive track records in for-


The Shangri-La Dialogue

eign and security policies supported by a relatively stable domestic politics and economic condition. Yudhoyono is a proponent of Indonesia’s active participation in regional and international forums. He has apparently carried on the efforts of Megawati Soekarnoputri to strengthen Indonesia’s role in ASEAN after holding the rotating chairmanship of the grouping in 2003. Yudhoyono’s government has deeply engaged in various ASEAN meetings, like the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting, ASEAN Regional Forum, East Asia Summit and helped set up the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in 2012. Indonesia has also participated in international operations. For instance, it has been involved in the UN peacekeeping mission and in delivering humanitarian assistance as well as formulating the post-2015 development agenda together with the UK and Liberia as co-chairs of the High-level Panel under the UN Secretary General’s mandate. Second, Indonesia doesn’t have to choose to be an ally of any single major power in the region. I think we can still implement our “independent and active” foreign policy doctrine with some adjustments through the dynamic equilibrium principle. In the short and mid periods, we’re not only facing the US-China power shift, but also the rise of Japan and India, who will both play a more assertive role in the region. Rather than take a side, Indonesia as the natural leader of ASEAN should embrace all countries in managing order in Asia Pacific. Therefore, ASEAN is the fundamental platform for Indonesia to reach its strategic interests at the regional and international level. Third, Indonesia needs a white paper to project Indonesia’s goals in economic, security, defense and foreign affairs. In the next 15 years, Indonesia might focus on how to achieve its target as a middle power that can serve as a “stabilizer” in Asia Pacific. However, in the long run, let’s say 30-35 years later, Indonesia has to have a vision to become a major power. We have the economic, social and cultural capital based on our geographical landscape as well as human and natural resources. To become a major power, Indonesia also needs to gradually enhance its military capability. As Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro said in the recent Shangri-La Dialogue, Indonesia is on its way to modernizing its military capability to achieve the minimum essential force by the 2020s. The increasing military budget should be balanced by transparency and military professionalism. No one doubts Indonesia’s strategic position in the Asia-Pacific. All we need is a leader who has the capacity to maintain economic and domestic political stability in a democratic way, and at the same time the ability to play a more pivotal role in the region. ©2014, Jakarta Post Reprinted with permission

Financial Times 19 June 2014

South China Seas: Troubled waters Beijing has built up its navy and is more assertive in the region, raising fears it will lay claim to disputed shores By Demetri Sevastopulo When Wen Jiabao visited Japan as Chinese premier in 2007, he and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe agreed to make the East China Sea an area of “peace, co-operation and friendship”. Following suit, his successor Li Keqiang used an almost identical phrase about the South China Sea last October when he met the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Brunei. Despite the rhetoric about harmonious seas, countries from Vietnam and the Philippines to Japan and the US are increasingly critical of what they see as aggressive Chinese behaviour in the region. In a recent speech at the Shangri-La dialogue in Singapore, Chuck Hagel, US defence secretary, said what many southeast Asian countries believe but are wary of articulating too forcefully out of fears about Chinese retaliation: “China has called the South China Sea ‘a sea of peace, friendship, and cooperation’ and that’s what it should be. But in recent months, China has undertaken destabilising, unilateral actions asserting its claims in the South China Sea.” From Manila to Washington, experts are trying to answer what Rory Medcalf, an Asia security expert at the Lowy Institute, describes as the “billion dollar question”: why is China taking a more assertive stance over territorial claims in the South China Sea that have, in most cases, existed for decades? Where some see an emerging power flexing its new naval muscles, others view a bolder ambition to push the US navy out of the western Pacific where it has been dominant since the second world war. The tensions are mounting at a pace that worries everyone from military planners in the Asia-Pacific region to multinational retailers and global energy companies. In the latest example of friction, scores of Chinese and Vietnamese naval, coast guard and fishing vessels are playing a dangerous game of maritime chicken near the disputed Paracel Islands after China infuriated Vietnam by starting to drill for hydrocarbons. The spat has also sparked deadly anti-Chinese riots in Vietnam that forced factories supplying everyone from Apple to Adidas to temporarily halt production. “It is still very serious, not only for Vietnam, but also for the region and the world,” said Chi Vinh Nguyen, Vietnam’s deputy defence minister. “They violated inter-

national laws when they placed the oil rig in our exclusive economic zone and continental shelf.” Hanoi is mulling taking China to international court, following Manila, which has seen relations with Beijing plummet since Chinese ships wrested control of a Scarborough Shoal reef from the Philippines in April 2012 after a tense month-long stand-off. In his new book Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and the End of a Stable Pacific, Robert Kaplan says there is “nothing unusually aggressive” about China’s actions given its geography and aim to prevent foreign powers taking advantage as they did in the past two centuries. “The fact that it seeks to dominate an adjacent sea crowded with smaller and much weaker powers, where there is possibly a plenitude of oil and natural gas, is altogether natural,” he concludes. China argues that Hanoi and Manila have breached the code of conduct, or drilled in waters claimed by China China dismisses the view it is raising tensions. At the Shangri-La dialogue, Lieutenant General Wang Guanzhong, a top Chinese officer, accused Mr Hagel and Mr Abe – who gave a highly critical speech on China – of teaming up to provoke Beijing. The US accepts that the Chinese military will play a bigger regional role as it grows. But General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said China was using its military muscle in a “provocative” way that would complicate the search for diplomatic solutions. “We had discussions just two years ago that regional powers . . . would not use military force or the military instrument of power in order to pressurise what is rightly a diplomatic issue and that dynamic has changed, so now there is military power being used to pressurise the diplomacy,” he said in a joint interview. Just this year, Chinese warships have tried to block Philippine boats from resupplying a ship called the Sierra Madre that is lodged on the Second Thomas Shoal in the disputed Spratly Islands. Manila has also accused Beijing of breaching a 2002 regional code of conduct by reclaiming land at Johnson South, another reef in the Spratlys, for the possible construction of a runway. There have also been reports that China wants to turn nearby Fiery Cross Reef into an artificial island that would help it to project power in the South China Sea and beyond into the Pacific. China argues that Hanoi and Manila are being hypocritical, saying they have breached the code of conduct, or drilled in waters claimed by China. Tommy Koh, a widely respected former Singaporean ambassador to the US and maritime law expert, points out that none of the six claimant nations in the South China Sea have adhered to the letter of the law of the code of conduct. Some think China is responding to what it sees as growing US interference in its back yard. During the Bush administration, the US was so preoccupied with Iraq and

Selected press coverage


Afghanistan that many Asian nations worried it was losing sight of China as its navy and coastguard grew. In 2010, the US signalled a shift. Speaking in Hanoi, Hillary Clinton, then Barack Obama’s secretary of state, declared the South China Sea was in the US “national interest” – a remark that infuriated China, coming just months after Beijing had called the waters one of its “core” interests. Two years later, Leon Panetta, then US defence secretary, told Asian defence ministers in Singapore that the Pentagon would boost its presence in the Pacific as part of a “pivot” to Asia. En route home, he flew to Vietnam, becoming the first Pentagon chief to visit the country in decades, and signalling to China that US-Vietnam relations were warming. Washington has since signed deals with Australia and the Philippines to base troops, planes and ships in those countries on a rotational basis. Chris Johnson, a former Central Intelligence Agency China expert at CSIS, said: “From a strategic or military operational point of view, China looks around and from the Japanese islands down to the Philippines they see this net of US alliances and other defence arrangements that box them in.” He argued China was responding to more than the “pivot”. It decided in the mid-1990s to focus on Taiwan instead of the South China Sea, where it had been building infrastructure on places such as Mischief Reef. But since the 2008 election of President Ma Ying-jeou in Taiwan, ties with Taipei have sharply improved, allowing China to focus on its maritime claims. In 2012, Hu Jintao, then Chinese president, gave a strong hint of the future when he announced in a major speech that the Communist party would “build China into a maritime power” – in what was the first time the country had declared itself a maritime power in 500 years. Towards that aim, China is creating a “blue water” navy that can operate far from its shores, and particularly beyond the “first island chain” that separates the South China, East China and Yellow seas from the Pacific. “Chinese leaders believe strongly that as a rising great power they should have a sphere of influence in Asia, much like the US has maintained in the western hemisphere since its 19th-century articulation of the Monroe Doctrine,” said Paul Haenle, head of the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center in Beijing. Many capitals worry that China will ignore international rules as it expands its sphere of influence. They point to the “nine-dash line” – a marking on Chinese maps that encloses most of the South China Sea, suggesting that China claims most of the waters, which critics say would contravene the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea [Unclos]. Gen Wang said the line was created in 1948 after the Paracels and Spratlys were returned to China following the Cairo and Potsdam declarations. He said China discovered them more than 2,000 years ago and that their


The Shangri-La Dialogue

sovereignty had not been contested until the 1970s when energy resources were discovered in the South China Sea. While critics such as Jay Batongbacal at the University of the Philippines describe that view as “really misleading” (Unclos does not recognise historical claims to waters), Gen Wang’s explanation highlights that China does not want to be bound by an international system developed when it was a weak country. “It is naive to believe that a strong China will accept the conventional definition of what parts of the sea around it are under its jurisdiction,” Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s founding father, said in March. While this view is uncomfortable listening for China’s neighbours, it poses a particular dilemma for the US, as it balances the various strands of its broad relationship with Beijing. In 2012, Manila was disappointed that US ships did not appear to help its treaty ally during the Scarborough Shoal incident. Mr Johnson said the outcome signalled that the US would not match rhetoric with action and reinforced the view in China that Mr Obama was “fundamentally weak”. “Scarborough Shoal has changed hands for the first time in 20 plus years . . . and there has been no reaction. That definitely gives people in the region pause,” said Mr Johnson. Some experts think China has been emboldened by the perception that the Obama administration would not risk a conflict with China over the South China Sea, and that only a conflict between China and Japan, Washington’s key ally in Asia, would trigger US military action. “I would agree that that will be the case under this US president, but we’ll see what happens under a new US president in 2017,” said Mr Haenle. “Chinese actions and behaviour over the next two years will impact how fast and how far the pendulum will swing in the other direction.” Some American officials think China’s assertive behaviour will push its neighbours closer to the US, but other observers are less sanguine given China’s pivotal role as a trading partner for Asean. Asked whether China was sending Vietnam more into the US orbit, Gen Nguyen said: “I don’t think so. We are standing alone . . . we don’t stand on one side or the other side.” General Phung Quang Thanh, Vietnam’s defence minister, stressed that Hanoi would stay independent. But he said it was considering allowing foreign ships to use facilities at Cam Ranh Bay, a strategic deepwater port, which would also help US operations in the South China Sea. Mr Medcalf thinks the jury is out on whether China has miscalculated, but adds that “China cannot be certain that it is not hurting itself” with its assertive actions. Either way, says Mr Johnson, the US needs urgently to “rearm our toolkit” to meet the challenges from China. “Relying on the other team to consistently score own goals is not a strategy. That is wishful thinking.”

China focuses on maritime power China has been able to act much more assertively in the South China Sea partly because its navy and coastguard have grown rapidly in size, capabilities and experience in operating at sea. While military spending of all sorts has expanded rapidly in recent years, the government is devoting most money to the navy to help China achieve its aspiration of becoming a true maritime power. The navy – the People’s Liberation Army Navy – has three fleets with home ports on the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea. Over the past decade or more, it has expanded in size, while replacing older vessels with newer high-tech submarines, destroyers and amphibious ships. While the number of submarines has grown from 60 to only 70 since 2000, China has placed a high priority on upgrading its fleet to include more vessels that carry intercontinental ballistic missiles. The US estimates that China will this year start conducting its first nuclear deterrence patrols with its relatively new Jin-class nuclear powered submarines. China’s first aircraft carrier – a refurbished ship called the Liaoning, which it bought from Ukraine – last year conducted training with other ships in the South China sea for the first time. In addition, the navy has been conducting more ambitious naval exercises to enhance its ability to operate further from China’s shores. In October 2013, all three of the country’s fleets trained together in the Philippine Sea in what was the navy’s largest open water exercise. Gary Li, a Chinese naval expert at IHS Maritime, said one important change has been the rise in the number of logistics ships that help the navy undertake missions further from China. He adds that China has also seen a rapid growth in the size of its coastguard fleet, which has doubled to 60 ships over the past decade. This year alone, 11 ships entered service and 38 more are on order. Highlighting the growing reach of the navy, earlier this year for the first time it sailed through the Sunda Strait, which lies between two of Indonesia’s main island, en route to holding exercises in the Indian Ocean. Last year, Chinese ships also sailed through the Soya Strait between Japan and Russia for the first time, which domestic media heralded as the navy achieving its goal to be able to break through what is known as the “first island China” that separates China’s near seas from the greater Pacific. ©2014, Financial Times Reprinted with permission

South China Morning Post 19 June 2014

Superpowers turn up the heat in their struggle for the upper hand in Asia Smaller nations may be forced to take sides as Washington, Tokyo and Beijing turn up the heat in their struggle for the upper hand in region By Kristine Kwok It was an annual event that was supposed to bridge differences. Instead, three regional powers - China, the United States and Japan - blamed each other for causing instability in the region, leaving the less powerful nations of Southeast Asia feeling caught in the middle. And participants at the recent Shangri-La Dialogue - also known as the Asian Security Summit - say the sniping is just getting started. There’s likely to be growing antagonism between China and the US as Beijing accuses Washington of cementing regional alliances to stand up to the communist nation. Weaker nations may be forced to answer the question they sought to avoid during the cold war: which side are you on? At the summit, the diplomatic squabbles kicked off with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s keynote speech on May 30. He said Japan should play a greater role as a protector in the region. Abe said Tokyo would support Southeast Asian countries with, for instance, patrol vessels, as they sought to protect their borders against incursions by Beijing. “Japan will offer its utmost support for the efforts of the countries of Asean [Association of Southeast Asian Nations] as they work to ensure the security of the seas and the skies,” Abe said. The next day, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel was more blunt. He accused Beijing of de-stabilising the region through intimidation and coercion. “The United States will not look the other way when fundamental principles of the international order are being challenged,” he said. Wang Guanzhong , deputy chief of the general staff of the People’s Liberation Army and head of the Chinese delegation to the meeting, said Hagel’s speech was “full of hegemony” and could cause instability. Wang said the attacks on China by the US and Japan appeared to be “coordinated”. “Abe and Hagel’s speeches gave me a feeling that they were singing a duet,” Wang said. “They supported and encouraged each other and used their speeches to instigate provocations against China.” As the great powers traded barbs, the region’s security and strategy leaders watched with concern.

Selected press coverage


Some delegates applauded Abe’s ambition , but others said they worried that the competition for influence could exacerbate tensions. Carl Thayer, of the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy, said the smaller nations were like corks floating “in the ocean with big powers smashing the water”. “How do they stay in the centre and not get pushed aside?” Participants who would welcome a greater security role for Japan said it would be a counterbalance to China’s increasingly assertive behaviour in the South China Sea. It was particularly well received among delegates from Vietnam and the Philippines, which have territorial disputes with China. Others at the summit said that dealing with a democratic power like Japan would afford greater predictability, something China did not offer. Indonesian delegate Dewi Fortuna Anwar said that in the 2000s, China was a neighbour that would “go out of its way” to foster friendly relationships with Asean countries. But since about 2008, Beijing had become more aggressive and started to “push itself forward”, leaving the region puzzled, the academic said. “It’s easy to build distrust, but to restore trust takes a long time. And we like predictability,” said Anwar, who is a senior adviser to Indonesia’s vice-president. “You cannot put your charm on and off. There has to be some predictability.” China, which still bitterly remembers Japan’s wartime atrocities, has warned that Abe’s plan to change the country’s defence policy would signal a return to militarism. But Anwar said Japan had enough checks and balances to prevent that from happening. Before he goes much further, Abe must convince a wary public at home of the benefits of dispatching troops to play regional protector. Japan’s constitution forbids the Self Defence Force from doing anything beyond protecting its own territory. Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are now seeking to reinterpret the “no war” provisions so that the defence forces can participate in so-called collective self-defence - aiding allies that are under attack and protecting its citizens abroad. Abe’s speech at the Shangri-La Dialogue concerned some delegates.


The Shangri-La Dialogue

“The region is divided. Not everybody here outright opposes Japan,” Thayer said. “But some are quite worried that the major powers could overplay their hands.” For years, Beijing has seen Washington’s strategy to reengage with Asia, termed a “pivot” in 2010 and later rebranded as “rebalancing”, as a move to contain China’s rise. Relations between the two powers soured after US President Barack Obama’s April trip to four Asian countries - three of them allies. Many in China blamed Obama for further emboldening America’s allies, in particular Japan and the Philippines, in their territorial disputes with China. Nick Bisley, a professor of international relations at La Trobe University in Australia, said if events at the Shangri-La Dialogue were any indication, China was increasingly pitting itself against the US alliance. That puts Southeast Asian nations in a tricky position. “It’s like 60 years ago when they were asked the ‘which side are you on’ cold war question,” said Bisley, who attended the summit. “They sought to avoid that, and they are trying to avoid that. But it’s not working.” In his speech, the PLA’s Wang sought to advocate for a “new Asian security concept”, a vision first outlined by President Xi Jinping a week earlier. Xi envisions a regional security framework in which China and other Asian countries would play a bigger role. But barbs and heated exchanges overshadowed Wang’s speech. Regional delegates also remained unconvinced when Wang said China never instigated problems but was forced to respond to provocations by others. Similarly overlooked was a question raised by Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in his concluding remarks: how best to accommodate a rising China? Bisley and other analysts warned that a failure to find common ground would generate more friction. He said China was an insecure power, which could lead to rash decisions. “The really tricky thing for the US to understand and to accept is that countries that depend on it, like the Philippines and Vietnam, have interests that ultimately matter less to the overarching system than China’s,” Bisley said. “How it grapples with that is going to determine how things play out in the next 10 or 15 years.” ©2014, South China Morning Post Reprinted with permission


Selected IISS publications

The Adelphi series is the Institute’s principal contribution to policy-relevant, original academic research. Books published since 2007 include:

D. Pollack, Jonathan, No Exit: North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and International Security. Adelphi 418–419. Routledge for the IISS, 2011.

Aaron L. Friedberg, Beyond Air-Sea Battle: The debate over US Military Strategy in Asia. Adelphi 444. Routledge for the IISS, 2014.

Holslag, Jonathan, Trapped Giant: China’s Military Rise. Adelphi 416. Routledge for the IISS, 2011.

Monika Barthwal-Datta, Food Security in Asia: Challenges, Policies and Implications. Adelphi 441–442. Routledge for the IISS, 2014. Hokayem, Emile, Syria’s Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant. Adelphi 438. Routledge for the IISS, 2013. Le Mière, Christian and Raine, Sarah, Regional Disorder: The South China Sea Disputes. Adelphi 436–437. Routledge for the IISS, 2013. Dodge, Toby, Iraq: From War to a New Authoritarianism. Adelphi 434–435. Routledge for the IISS, 2012. Till, Geoffrey, Asia’s naval expansion: An arms race in the making?. Adelphi 432–433. Routledge for the IISS, 2012.

Taylor, Brendan, Sanctions as Grand Strategy. Adelphi 411. Routledge for the IISS, 2010. Cortright, David and Väyrynen, Raimo, Towards Nuclear Zero. Adelphi 410. Routledge for the IISS, 2010. Bisley, Nick, Building Asia’s Security. Adelphi 408. Routledge for the IISS, 2009. Raine, Sarah, China’s African Challenges. Adelphi 404–5. Routledge for the IISS, 2009. Hughes, Christopher W., Japan’s Remilitarisation. Adelphi 403. Routledge for the IISS, 2009. Perkovich, George and Acton, James M., Abolishing Nuclear Weapons. Adelphi 396. Routledge for the IISS, 2008.

Selected press coverage


The IISS Strategic Dossier series harnesses the Institute’s technical expertise to present detailed information on key strategic issues. Recent publications include: Regional Security Assessment 2014: Key developments and trends in Asia-Pacific security. IISS, 2014. North Korean Security Challenges: A net assessment. IISS, 2011. The FARC Files: Venezuela, Ecuador and the Secret Archive of ‘Raúl Reyes’. IISS, 2011. Iran’s Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Capabilities: A net assessment. IISS, 2011.

‘Thailand’s unrest: a test for democracy’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 43, December 2013. ‘Competitive diplomacy in Southeast Asia’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 31, October 2013. ‘Australia’s government seeks new policy balance’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 28, September 2013. ‘Singapore and the US: security partners, not allies’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 24, August 2013. ‘China’s defence spending: new questions’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 22, August 2013.

Iran’s Ballistic Missile Capabilities: A net assessment. IISS, 2010.

‘Pakistan’s Sharif: testing relationships’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 21, July 2013.

Preventing Nuclear Dangers in Southeast Asia and Australasia. IISS, 2009.

‘Australia’s difficult defence balance’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 20, July 2013.

Nuclear Programmes in the Middle East: In the shadow of Iran. IISS, 2008.

‘Beyond Abenomics: Japan’s grand strategy’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 18, June 2013.

European Military Capabilities: Building Armed Forces for Modern Operations. IISS, 2008.

‘Growing tensions in the East China Sea’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 14, April 2013.

Nuclear Black Markets: Pakistan, A.Q. Khan and the rise of proliferation networks: A net assessment. IISS, 2007.

‘Philippine legal move stirs South China Sea disputes’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 13, April 2013.

Strategic Comments is the Institute’s online source of analysis of international security and politicomilitary issues. Articles focused on South, Southeast and Northeast Asia published between January 2012 and June 2014 include: ‘North Korean lessons for an Iranian nuclear accord’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 18, May 2014. ‘Philippines–China dispute: a sign of regional shifts’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 17, May 2014. ‘Challenges for India’s new naval chief’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 16, May 2014. ‘Pacific Alliance trade bloc eyes global role’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 10, April 2014. ‘China’s national-security overhaul’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 8, March 2014. ‘China’s strategic Arctic interests’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 6, March 2014. ‘Pakistan’s delicate civil–military balance’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 5, February 2014. ‘Asian disaster relief: lessons of Haiyan’. Strategic Comments, vol. 20, no. 2, February 2014. ‘Reform fails to help Myanmar’s Rohingya’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 49, January 2013. ‘China’s air zone rouses regional fears’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 44, December 2013.


The Shangri-La Dialogue

‘Pakistan’s Afghan epiphany’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 11, March 2013. ‘Afghanistan’s security transition reaches key point’. Strategic Comments, vol. 19, no. 7, March 2013.

The Military Balance is the Institute’s annual assessment of military capabilities and defence economics worldwide. Region-by-region analyses cover the major military and economic trends and developments affecting security policy and the trade in weapons and other military equipment. Comprehensive tables portray key data on weapons and defence economics. Defence expenditure trends over a 10-year period are also shown. The Military Balance 2014. Routledge for the IISS, 2014.

Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, the Institute’s bi-monthly journal, is a leading forum for analysis and debate of international and strategic affairs. Recent articles of interest include: David C. Gompert and Martin Libicki, ‘Cyber Warfare and Sino-American Crisis Instability’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 4, August–September 2014, pp. 7–22. Yogesh Joshi and Frank O’Donnell, ‘India’s Submarine Deterrent and Asian Nuclear Proliferation’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 4, August–September 2014, pp. 157–174.

Roderic Broadhurst and Peng Wang, ‘After the Bo Xilai Trial: Does Corruption Threaten China’s Future?’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 3, June–July 2014, pp. 157–178. Michal Meidan, ‘The Implications of China’s EnergyImport Boom’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 3, June–July 2014, pp. 179–200. Pierre Noël, ‘Asia’s Energy Supply and Maritime Security’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 3, June–July 2014, pp. 201–216. Oriana Skylar Mastro, ‘The Problems of the Liberal Peace in Asia’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 2, April–May 2014, pp. 129–158. Christian Le Mière, ‘The Spectre of an Asian Arms Race’, Survival, vol. 56, no. 1, February–March 2014, pp. 139–156. Will Shield, ‘The Middle Way: China and Global Economic Governance’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 6, December 2013– January 2014, pp. 147–168. Nigel Inkster, ‘Conflict Foretold: America and China’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 5, October–November 2013, pp. 7–28. Wu Riqiang, ‘China’s Anxiety About US Missile Defence: A Solution’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 5, October–November 2013, pp. 29–52. Brendan Taylor, ‘Does China Still Back North Korea?’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 5, October–November 2013, pp. 85–91. Nick Bisley and Andrew Phillips, ‘A Rebalance To Where?: US Strategic Geography in Asia’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 5, October–November 2013, pp. 95–114. Jasper Pandza, ‘China’s Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Proliferation Risks’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 4, August–September 2013, pp. 177–90. Mark Fitzpatrick, ‘North Korea: Is Regime Change the Answer?’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 7–20. David C. Gompert, ‘North Korea: Preparing for the End’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 21–46. William Choong, ‘Japan’s New Politics’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 47–54. Sheryn Lee & Benjamin Schreer, ‘The Taiwan Strait: Still Dangerous’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 55–62.

Liu Chong, ‘After Fukushima: China’s Nuclear Safety’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 115–128. Denny Roy, ‘The Problem with Premature Appeasement’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 183–202. Christian Le Mière, ‘Rebalancing the Burden in East Asia’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 2, April–May 2013, pp. 31–41. Amitai Etzioni, ‘Accommodating China’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 2, April–May 2013, pp. 45–60. Thomas Plant and Ben Rhode, ‘China, North Korea and the Spread of Nuclear Weapons’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 2, April– May 2013, pp. 61–80. Nigel Inkster, ‘Chinese Intelligence in the Cyber Age’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 1, February–March 2013, pp. 45–66. William B. Milam and Matthew J. Nelson, ‘Pakistan’s Populist Foreign Policy’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 1, February–March 2013, pp. 121–34.

Strategic Survey is the Institute’s annual review of strategic developments throughout the world. Recent sections of interest include: ‘India: BJP sweeps in’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 292–297. ‘Pakistan: Internal tensions’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 297–302. ‘Bangladesh: Boycotted election’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 302–304. ‘Afghanistan: Transition pp. 304–308.





‘China: Xi Jinping in the Ascendant’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 315–329. ‘Japan: Abe’s Radical Agenda’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 329–339. ‘Korean Peninsula: Impervious North’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 339–352. ‘Southeast Asia: Major-Power Competition and Domestic Political Flux’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 352–373. ‘Australia: Abbott’s Regional Forays’. Strategic Survey 2014, pp. 374–378.

Kai Liao, ‘The Pentagon and the Pivot’, Survival, vol. 55, no. 3, June–July 2013, pp. 95–114.

Selected press coverage



The Shangri-La Dialogue Since the inception of the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in 2002, this unique experiment in multilateral defence diplomacy has involved, at one point or other, defence ministers, deputy ministers, chiefs of defence staff, national security advisers, permanent undersecretaries, intelligence chiefs and other national security and defence officials from: Australia, Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, the European Union, Finland, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Republic of Korea, Russia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States and Vietnam. The result has been the growth of the Shangri-La Dialogue into the richest collection of defence professionals in the Asia-Pacific. The goal of the IISS is to ensure that the Shangri-La Dialogue will continue to serve as the best available vehicle in the Asia-Pacific for developing and channelling astute and effective public policy on defence and security. The IISS, a registered charity with offices in London, Washington, Manama and Singapore, is the world’s leading authority on political–military conflict. It is the primary independent source of accurate, objective information on international strategic issues. Publications include The Military Balance, an annual reference work on each nation’s defence capabilities; Strategic Survey, an annual review of world affairs; Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, a bi-monthly journal on international affairs; Strategic Comments, offering online analysis of topical issues in international affairs; and the Adelphi book series, the Institute’s principal contribution to policy-relevant, original academic research. The range of IISS publications, its convening power, and the Institute’s strong international policy perspective make the IISS a key actor in the global strategic and economic debate.

“[The Shangri-La Dialogue] has developed into a platform, a venue, a bridge, an opportunity, to go beyond what you had envisioned when we first discussed [the Dialogue] in 1999 and 2000. So I’m very pleased of my career association with your conference. I want also to recognise the International Institute for Strategic Studies for its continued support of this effort, as well as other efforts across the globe, as they convene, in a continuing and very relevant way, these important opportunities to exchange ideas, and have an opportunity to go deeper down into the great challenges and opportunities of our time.” Chuck Hagel, US Secretary of Defense “It is a very, very significant meeting…You can rest assured we will always be back at every opportunity to Shangri-La.” David Johnston, Australian Minister of Defence “I would like to express our gratitude to the International Institute for Strategic Studies and the government of Singapore for your hospitality and excellent organisation of this event.” Anatoly Antonov, Deputy Minister of Defence

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Shangri-La Dialogue 2014  

IISS 13th Asia Security Summit, The Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore, 30 May–1 June 2014

Shangri-La Dialogue 2014  

IISS 13th Asia Security Summit, The Shangri-La Dialogue, Singapore, 30 May–1 June 2014