http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...-Shangri-La-Dialogue/articleshow/47437551.cms TNN | May 27, 2015, 05.47 AM IST NEW DELHI: India continues to neglect military diplomacy by once again shunning the prominent Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD), the annual security forum in Singapore which brings together defence ministers, top military officers and experts from the Asia-Pacific region as well as others like the US and Europe. Officials on Tuesday confirmed that neither defence minister Manohar Parrikar nor minister of state Rao Inderjit Singh will take part in the forum from May 29 to 31. The importance attached to the SLD can be gauged from the fact that German defence minister Ursula von der Leyen is slated to head to Singapore after her ongoing three-day visit to India, while US secretary of defence Ashton Carter will arrive in New Delhi after taking part in the forum. Even last year, just after the Modi government had come to power, India had gone virtually unrepresented in the forum at the ministerial or top military level. A K Antony, during his eight-year stint as defence minister, failed to accord much priority to the forum, participating in it just once. In June 2013, Antony had avoided the SLD despite being in Singapore around the same time on his way to Australia and Thailand. It was left to then Navy chief Admiral D K Joshi to be the stand-in for Antony. "India should take the SLD seriously since it has high stakes in the Asia-Pacific, especially with China acting aggressively in the entire region. The forum is a conglomeration of world defence and military leaders, who network, discuss and shape policy. India should ensure ministerial participation, and not leave it to junior officials," said an official. India remains worried about the Chinese Navy's expanding footprint in the Indian Ocean Region, with even its submarines now making forays into the area, but has not jumped into any multilateral grouping that may be seen as an attempt to "contain" China. It wants to be "a neutral player" in the ongoing geopolitical jostling between the US and China in the Asia Pacific.