(June 3): Smoking cigarettes at Singapore’s Shangri-La Hotel, the site of Asia’s most prominent annual defence forum, members of China’s military found themselves surprisingly upbeat this weekend.

They expected the event to follow a typical routine: The US and its friends gang up on China, leaving it alone to push back against a host of complaints. But this year, with an escalating trade war threatening global growth, the People’s Liberation Army officers saw other Asian leaders critiquing key aspects of the Trump administration’s attacks on China.

Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong set the tone in his opening remarks, calling on the US to accommodate China’s rise while downplaying the threat posed by Huawei Technologies Co. A Myanmar minister suggested US warnings about China’s debt-trap diplomacy were overblown. And nearly everyone wanted the trade war to end.

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