Two dozen senior officials from the world's major intelligence agencies held a secret meeting in Singapore this weekend.
They asserted that the Singaporean government is behind these meetings, which have been held covertly at a different location alongside the security summit for several years. The meetings haven't been previously reported on.
Despite the tensions between the two superpowers, China was one of the other countries present and was represented by Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines, the head of her nation's intelligence community.
The director of India's Research and Analysis Wing, Samant Goel, was also present, according to a source in India.
The meeting, according to one person with knowledge of the discussions, was a significant item on the global shadow agenda. Given the diversity of the participating nations, it wasn't a festival of tradecraft but rather a means of fostering a better understanding of goals and motivations.
The Singapore event, according to the sources, helped promote an unspoken code among intelligence services that they could speak when more formal and open diplomacy is difficult. This is a crucial factor during tense times.
According to a spokesperson for the Singapore Ministry of Defense, attendees of the Shangri-La Dialogue, including senior officials from intelligence agencies, also take the chance to network with one another.
According to a statement, the American Embassy in Singapore was not informed of the meeting. The governments of China and India did not immediately respond to requests for comment.