2019 Shangri-La Dialogue

I attended the 2019 Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD) as a ROK delegate from May 31 to June 2 at the Shangri-La Hotel in Singapore. Having lived in an area adjacent to the hotel and worked at a school nearby the hotel for two years, going back was quite reminiscent but also new for me, as it was my first time attending the SLD. Defense ministers of the Asia-Pacific gave speeches throughout the three days of discussion and held bilateral and/or multilateral meetings at Shangri-La. All speeches are uploaded on the SLD website above – take a listen. According to Dr. John Chipman’s closing remarks at the end of the final session, the number of attendees this year went up as high as 642 delegates.

20190531 Interview with CNA

Live TV interview with Eu Imm Chan of CNA at the Shangri-La Hotel following the second plenary session on Korean Security. 20190531 12PM SGT.

At SLD, the divergence in defense policy and goals amongst major players in the region was quite salient, as if it were to represent the tumultuous unfolding events on air, land, and seas in the region and the turbulent era we live in at the moment. The realist in me perceived what may be called the great divide, in which the past two decades of strategic partnership between the United States and China would come to an end. Huawei, 5G, trade war, etc.

As much as Singapore is home to the first summit held between the DPRK and the United States, there is much lingering anticipation as to whether there would be a possibility for continuation of talks. Nonetheless, none are perceived at the moment, but of course we do not know what the future holds – as policy analysts and wonks we can only forecast without a certainty.

The next event to focus on is Xi Jinping’s trip to Seoul prior to the G20 in Osaka and the G20 Meeting itself.


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