Defence officials from several countries are meeting in Singapore for the eleventh Asian Security Summit.
High on the conference's agenda are the maritime disputes in the South China Sea, China's booming military might, and US efforts to expand its influence in the region.
As China, which could overtake the US as the world's biggest military spender during the next 20 years, becomes increasingly assertive in the region, other Southeast Asian countries have also begun to boost their military hardware.
Florence Looi reports from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's capital.
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