June 1, 2019
SINGAPORE (Reuters) – Acting U.S. Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan suggested on Saturday that China was responsible for a range of destabilizing activities in Asia, stirring already heightened tensions between the world’s two largest economies.
In a wide-ranging speech in front of regional defense chiefs at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Shanahan called on Asian allies to increase their security spending, while emphasizing the United States’ commitment to the region.
Shanahan’s comments come as the United States and China are locked in an escalating trade war and at odds over a range of issues from the disputed South China Sea to democratic Taiwan, claimed by China as its sacred territory.
(Reporting by Idrees Ali; additional reporting by Joe Brock; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)