Wednesday, June 3, 2015

From Beijing with love?

So, the Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) held in Singapore over the weekend has ended. ST predictably ran this "post-mortem" commentary:

Well, the Chinese have invited the ASEAN defence ministers to troop over to Beijing later this year:

China to Hold First Meeting With ASEAN Defense Ministers in Beijing

Interesting. Was Admiral Sun, the delegation head to the SLD, sent to Singapore as a plenipotentiary? For sure, any ASEAN defence minister who decides not to turn up in the Forbidden City for this special meeting will be notable by his absence. Hmm, is this invitation "to come to Beijing" (bearing gifts?) for a special meeting a bid to resurrect the imperial tributary system?

But then, it could just be an opportunity to leverage on China's own "SLD" -- the Xiangshan Forum. It appears that this special meeting is being billed as a sideline event to the main talkfest. Anyway, the tongues are already wagging... Is China looking to have the Xiangshan Forum outshine the SLD?

Singaporean academic Wang Gungwu is already looking at Chinese tea leaves and worrying about the dilemma that the Little Red Dot might have to face as China becomes more assertive:

Some people are already regretting past folly:

Finally, truth be told, this Chinese academic said it so succinctly at the SLD!...    

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