The 13th annual Shangri La Dialogue closed in Singapore on June 1 after three days, with a majority present voicing concern over the ongoing tensions in the East Sea after China illegal dispatched its oil rig Haiyang Shiyou – 981 in Vietnam’s continental shelf and exclusive economic zone in early May.

During the fourth plenary session, themed “Major Powers’ Perspectives on Peace and Security in the Asia-Pacific” on the dialogue’s final day, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the People’s Liberation Army of China, Wang Guanzhong, said China backs cooperation, dialogue and improved strategic trust among countries.

He added that the country will work more closely with the US, Russia, India and other regional powers to maintain peace and promote prosperity in the region.

Asked about the nine-dot line that China claims in the East Sea, Wang revealed it is preparing for direct negotiations with countries concerned.

To cope with security risks, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov called for coordinated efforts under the auspices of the United Nations and its Security Council, as well as regional and sub-regional architectures such as the East Asia Summit, the ASEAN Regional Forum and the ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting.

At the fifth session, themed “Ensuring Agile Conflict Management in the Asia Pacific” the same day, French Defence Minister Jean Yves Le Drian expressed hope for the early introduction of the Code of Conduct in the East Sea, which he said is the only deterrent to rows and would act as a tool to forge an environment of peace, stability and prosperity in the region.

Singaporean Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen noted that it is possible to mitigate conflicts by actively establishing relations in a strong multilateral framework in order to build trust via cooperation and consensus.

The dialogue, also known as the Asian Security Summit, was organised by the International Institute of Strategic Studies, a London think-tank, and gathered defence and military representatives and academics from 27 countries in the Asia-Pacific and beyond.

The agenda of the five plenary sessions also focused on the contribution of the US to regional stability and the process of advancing military-to-military cooperation.-VNA