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Is Beijing covering an iron fist with a silk glove in Southeast Asia?

Chinese defense minister will likely play nice at the Shangri-La Dialogue security summit

| China
At this year's Shangri-La event, China will likely present itself as a force for stability in the South China Sea and paint the U.S. as a troublemaker.   © Reuters

For the first time since 2011, China is this weekend sending its defense minister to the annual IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Asia's top security gathering, in a move that looks like a bid to restore Beijing's strained relations with the region -- and steal a march over the U.S.

General Wei Fenghe is set to come five years after Beijing lashed out at the gathering, accusing the U.S. and Japan of ganging up against China and criticizing them of being "full of hegemony... threat and intimidation."

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