• Reuters

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When U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter spoke at a key Asian security summit over the weekend, he used the word “principled” 38 times, floating his vision of a U.S.-backed “security network” of countries in the region.

Several delegations were quick to respond to the idea at the annual Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, but it seemed to evolve into a form of diplomatic tag-team wrestling as a loose coalition of nations lined up to criticize China.

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