Global Security Dialogue: Dong Jun and Zelenskiy Take Center Stage

Chinese defence chief Dong Jun will be discussing global security at the Shangri-La Dialogue, a highlight on the last day of the summit. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy will also make a significant appearance. Key issues include the Indo-Pacific region, Taiwan, and Ukraine's ongoing conflict with Russia.

Reuters | Updated: 02-06-2024 05:42 IST | Created: 02-06-2024 05:42 IST
Global Security Dialogue: Dong Jun and Zelenskiy Take Center Stage
Dong Jun

Chinese defence chief Dong Jun will discuss global security in an address at the Shangri-La Dialogue on Sunday that is often the highlight of the summit's last day, but may be overshadowed by the presence of Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelenskiy.

Dong's speech comes a day after U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin told delegates the Indo-Pacific region remained a key focus for the United States, even as it grappled with security assistance for Ukraine and the war in Gaza. "Let me be clear: The United States can be secure only if Asia is secure," Austin said. "That's why the United States has long maintained our presence in this region."

Dong and Austin met for more than an hour earlier in the conference. In his speech, Dong is expected to address China's positions on the South China Sea and Taiwan. In response to Austin's speech, Chinese Lieutenant General Jing Jianfeng said the U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy was intended "to create division, provoke confrontation and undermine stability."

Some U.S. officials say Beijing has become more emboldened in recent years, recently launching what it described as "punishment" drills around Taiwan, sending heavily armed warplanes and staging mock attacks after Lai Ching-te was inaugurated as Taiwan's president. Zelenskiy, who arrived on Saturday, is scheduled to speak in a forum called "Reimagining Solutions for Global Peace and Regional Stability" on Sunday morning.

He is expected to try to drum up support for a Ukraine peace conference to be hosted by Switzerland in mid-June. Russia has not been invited and China has confirmed it will not attend. Zelenskiy has urged U.S. President Joe Biden to attend, but Washington has not confirmed who it will send. In a post on the social media platform X early on Sunday, Zelenskiy said he had met with Timor-Leste President Jose Ramos-Horta and confirmed his country's attendance at the summit.

"I appreciate his support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as important UN resolutions condemning Russian aggression," Zelenskiy said. He said he also met with a U.S. congressional delegation and Indonesia's president-elect, Prabowo Subianto. His plans to visit Singapore were reported by Reuters on Friday.

Russia has not sent a delegation to the Shangri-La Dialogue since it invaded Ukraine in 2022. Other bilateral meetings are expected on Sunday, the final day of the security summit organised by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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