Beijing Xiangshan Forum, China's biggest annual show of military diplomacy, started on Sunday although the Asian power is still missing a defense minister, who typically hosts this event.

China hopes to use the forum to promote President Xi Jinping's vision for a safer world and draw developing countries closer, as it faces increased coordination between the United States and its allies to curtail its military ambitions.

Russia, which started a war in Ukraine in 2022, is being given center stage at the forum. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu is listed in the forum's agenda as the first guest speaker at Monday's opening ceremony.