The sixth Xiangshan Forum opened in Beijing on Saturday, with about 500 defense officials and scholars gathering to discuss Asia-Pacific security cooperation.
Vice chairman of China's Central Military Commission Fan Changlong will deliver a speech at the forum.
The attendees are from 49 countries and five international organizations, including the United Nations, according to organizers. The defense ministers of 16 countries, including Malaysia, Cambodia, the Philippines and Indonesia, are present at the forum.
The United States and Japan also for the first time sent government representatives to the event focusing on Asia-Pacific security issues, including the South China Sea disputes.
The forum was launched by an academic association in 2006 and has been held once every two years from 2006 to 2014, but China has been upgrading its level by inviting more foreign defense officials and scholars and since this year changing it from a biennial event to an annual one.