After a months-long row over Beijing’s island-building in the South China Sea, the United States and China were relatively restrained at Asia’s top security forum this weekend, but no closer to any solution.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter told the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore that China was threatening security in the region with its maritime construction work, but acknowledged other claimant countries to the disputed sea were also at fault.
“There’s no progress in the South China Sea (dispute), but the atmosphere has calmed a bit, thanks to reasonable consideration by all parties,” said Major General Jin Yinan of China’s National Defense University, a delegate at the conference. “The U.S. has adjusted its stance a little.”
Admiral Sun Jianguo, a deputy chief of staff of the People’s Liberation Army who headed the Chinese delegation, refrained from singling out the United States for criticism in his address and emphasized China’s commitment to peaceful relations.