Shangri-La Dialogue on security issues set to open in Singapore

A security forum known as the Shangri-La Dialogue will open in Singapore on Friday involving defense chiefs, other senior officials and business leaders from Asian and Western countries.

The conference will take place over three days. It follows a two-year hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Taiwan and the South China Sea are likely to be on the agenda. The South Pacific region, where the United States and China have been increasingly engaged, will also likely be discussed.

Participants will likely take up Russia's invasion of Ukraine as well as North Korea, which has recently launched a series of ballistic missiles. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to give an online address on Saturday.

Arrangements are in the works for US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe to hold their first face-to-face meeting on the sidelines of the conference.

Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio will also attend the forum. He will be the country's first prime minister to do so in eight years.

Attention is focused on what US, Chinese and other officials have to say amid the drastically changing security environment.