Shangri-La Summit organisers seek top-level India participation

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NEW DELHI: The organisers of the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), Asia’s premier geopolitical summit in Singapore that’s to be held from May 31 to June 2, are seeking high-level participation from India, although the government is yet to be sworn in.

India’s presence is being sought as a balancing power amid the presence of the US acting defence secretary and China’s defence minister, ET has learnt. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the keynote speaker at the 2018 edition of the Shangri-La Dialogue and used the forum to spell out India’s inclusive Indo-Pacific construct, which earned the approbation of global and regional powers.

While the SLD’s organisers are keen to host an Indian minister, deputing one will depend on when the council of ministers takes the oath of office. A senior official’s presence is being sought in the absence of a minister.

Defence minister Wei Fenghe will deliver a speech on June 2 at SLD, the first time since 2011 that a Chinese defence chief will be at the forum, at a time when China-US ties are strained over trade and security issues. In recent years, China has sent lower-level officials to SLD.





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