Chinese military moves key issue at Singapore forum

Tensions in the South China Sea are expected to drive up Asia-Pacific defence spending by nearly 25 percent from 2015 to $533 billion in 2020, security think-tank IHS Jane's wrote in a research note issued on June 2, 2016Asia’s largest annual security forum opens Friday in Singapore with territorial disputes in the South China Sea, North Korea’s military provocations and Islamist extremism expected to dominate discussions. The Shangri-La Dialogue, organised by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), is to be attended by at least 20 defence ministers led by Pentagon chief Ashton Carter, said IISS Asia executive director Tim Huxley. Beijing’s claim to nearly the entire South China Sea has angered Southeast Asian neighbours and pitted it against the United States, which has conducted patrols near Chinese-held islands to press for freedom of navigation in the body of water that encompasses key global shipping lanes.

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