He characterized this as having the worrying potential to create a powder keg situation in the region. This despite the fact there is no shared historical conviction among Asian countries against military conflict, like in Europe.
But Dr Ng said that there are several defusing factors that give cause for optimism. These include growing trade links among Asia-Pacific countries and the rise of an Asian middle class that would not support hegemonic aspirations.
The other four other speakers were Chinese vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Liu Zhen Min, Japanese vice-minister of Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi, Korean chairman of the National Defence Committee Jin Ha Hwang and former US under-secretary for Defense policy Michèle Flournoy.
—Source Singapore Straits Times
Photo credit: Christian Junker – AHKGAP / cc