DON'T LOSE ACCESS:
Your IP access to ForeignPolicy.com will expire on June 15
.

To ensure uninterrupted reading, please contact Rachel Mines, sales director, at rachel.mines@foreignpolicy.com.

The Cable

Cable guy presses Panetta on China’s Shangri-la no show

  Singapore – Your humble Cable guy pressed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today on how he interprets China’s decision to send zero senior level officials to the 2012 IISS Shangri-la Security Dialogue, a reversal of Chinese engagement at last year’s event. Panetta didn’t address the question head on but rather emphasized that while the U.S.-China ...

 

Singapore – Your humble Cable guy pressed Defense Secretary Leon Panetta today on how he interprets China’s decision to send zero senior level officials to the 2012 IISS Shangri-la Security Dialogue, a reversal of Chinese engagement at last year’s event.

Panetta didn’t address the question head on but rather emphasized that while the U.S.-China relationship is destined to have its ups and downs, increased engagement with China is the necessary way forward.

"We’re not naïve about the relationship and neither is China. But we also both understand that there really is no alternative but to engage and to improve our communications and improve our relationships," he said. "That’s’ the kind of mature relationship we need to ultimately have with China."

In an interview with The Cable after Panetta’s remarks, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) gave their own take on why the Chinese were no-shows here in Singapore.

"Last year the defense minister was here and his speech was excellent, but after the question and answer session, it wasn‘t exactly a public relations success," said McCain. "They’ve had a series of scandals, they’ve had some significant issues, they’re inherently cautious. So I can understand why they wouldn’t come."

"When I first came to the Shangri-la Dialogue in 2008 everybody was asking, is the U.S. receding from the Asia-Pacific," said Lieberman. "Here we are in 2012 with a very comprehensive show of American commitment to this region, a dramatic contrast to the absence of any high ranking officials from the Chinese government… they are the big elephant that’s out of the room."

 Twitter: @joshrogin

Trending Now Sponsored Links by Taboola

By Taboola

More from Foreign Policy

By Taboola