Shangri-La Dialogue opens for debate on Asian security challenges

A major Asian security forum has opened in Singapore. The Shangri-La Dialogue brings together top defense officials from Asia, the United States and Europe.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Chinese Defense Minister Dong Jun and Japanese Defense Minister Kihara Minoru are among the attendees.

Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. will deliver a keynote address on the opening day on Friday.

He is expected to refer to China's actions in parts of the South China Sea that are claimed by both countries, and seek support and understanding from other countries.

During the three-day forum, defense officials are expected to discuss Taiwan, the South China Sea, North Korea and other regional security issues. The situation in Ukraine is also likely to be on the agenda.

One of the sessions will focus on coast guard cooperation in the South China Sea and other waters. The Japan Coast Guard will join the talks for the first time, alongside its counterparts from the United States and the Philippines.