Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
The Phuket News Novosti Phuket Khao Phuket

Login | Create Account | Search


Asean leaders emphasise economic strength in face of US-China tensions

Asean leaders emphasise economic strength in face of US-China tensions

BANGKOK: Southeast Asian leaders agreed on Sunday (June 23) to work together on regional economics and security to strengthen their positions amid growing US-China tensions, as they wrapped up the summit.

politicseconomicsenvironmentnatural-resourcesMyanmar
By Bangkok Post

Monday 24 June 2019, 09:37AM


Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha holds a press conference after the end of the Asean Summit at the Athenee Hotel on Sunday (June 23). Photo: Chanat Katanyu / Bangkok Post

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha holds a press conference after the end of the Asean Summit at the Athenee Hotel on Sunday (June 23). Photo: Chanat Katanyu / Bangkok Post

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations will need its collective economic strength for bargaining power globally, especially amid the trade tensions between the world’s top two economies, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told a news conference, as chairman of the 34th Asean Summit.

Gen Prayut urged Asean nations to complete negotiations this year for the China-initiated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) pact that includes 16 countries.

“This will help Asean handle the changes and uncertainty that will happen in the region going forward, particularly the impacts of trade tension between Asean’s important trade partners.”

Negotiations began in 2012 on RCEP, which envisions the creation of a free trade zone encompassing 45% of the world’s population and more than a third of its GDP, but does not involve the United States.

First proposed by China, RCEP’s 16 signatories include the 10 Asean member states and six Asia-Pacific countries, including major economies China, India, Japan and South Korea. Asean has existing free-trade agreements with all six countries.

“If we can do this, we will have the bargaining power and base for negotiation,” the prime minister said.

Four Asean countries – Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam – will discuss the trade war in next week’s G20 summit, which assembles 20 major economies, in Tokyo, Gen Prayut said.

Asean countries also agreed on a common approach on a US-led Indo-Pacific initiative, at a time when US-China tensions were rising and forcing Asean countries to take sides.

Gen Prayut hailed the bloc’s agreement on the Asean Outlook on the Indo-Pacific as a “significant step” for the region.

The endorsed outlook document, seen by Reuters, acknowledges “maritime issues such as unresolved maritime disputes that have the potential for open conflict” as existing and emerging geopolitical challenges.

It outlines maritime cooperation “for peaceful settlement of disputes”. It also aims for connectivity in the Indo-Pacific region.

Gen Prayut’s speech made no mentions of major issues such as the plight of Myanmar’s fleeing Rohingyas and the South China Sea dispute.

Rights groups have called on Asean to rethink support for plans to repatriate Rohingya Muslims who have fled member state Myanmar, where activists say returnees could face discrimination and persecution.

Laguna Golf Phuket

More than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017, according to UN agencies, after a crackdown by Myanmar’s military sparked by Rohingya insurgent attacks on security forces.

Both Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo demanded that the security of returning Rohingya be guaranteed, according to Asean diplomats.

“The issue of security has become key to the implementation of repatriation,” said Jokowi, leader of the world’s biggest Muslim nation. “Without security guarantee, the repatriation will never happen.” Although the grouping has a policy of non-interference in members’ internal affairs, the Rohingya issue has been fixed on the agenda of relevant meetings since 2017.

Asean’s statement did not openly criticise Myanmar's government, and in line with such statements in the past, it also complied with Myanmar’s preference to avoid the term “Rohingyas,” referring to them instead as “displaced persons.”

“Developments in Myanmar... is providing a litmus test for Asean’s capacity to manage developments in one of its member states that have wider ramifications for the region and, indeed, beyond,” said Marty Natalegawa, a former Indonesian foreign minister.

Malaysian Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah called on Saturday for perpetrators of massacres and atrocities against the Rohingya to be “brought to justice” and said the repatriation process “must include the citizenship of the Rohingyas”.

Formed more than 50 years ago, Asean has historically struggled with challenges facing the region because it works only by consensus and is reluctant to become involved in any matter regarded as internal to a member state.

The South China Sea is one of the world’s busiest waterways, and a potential flashpoint in the region as several Asean members – the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia – as well as China and Taiwan have conflicting territorial claims.

Asean likely will finish a first reading of a Code of Conduct negotiating draft for the disputed South China Sea by the end of this year, Thailand said on Saturday, adding that the final reading is expected by the end of 2021.

 

 

Read original story here.

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

CAPTCHA

Be the first to comment.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Trash finally cleared at Chalong Pier after direct order by Governor

Time for a CCTV trash cam on Chalong Pier, with direct connection to Governor's desk. :-)...(Read More)


Trash finally cleared at Chalong Pier after direct order by Governor

Why collect garbage at 5-6 AM? Boats return with trash at 5-6 PM!! Why that garbage has to remain o...(Read More)


Fuzzy outlook for digital TV channels

I got rid of cable TV in 2001 and have not missed the ceaselessly repetitive ads one iota, either....(Read More)


Fatal epileptic asthma attack suspected as pickup crashes off road

As of May 2018... there is no proof of any relationship between epilepsy and asthma... so, what was ...(Read More)


Fatal epileptic asthma attack suspected as pickup crashes off road

Thanks to another highly"respectful" comment by Dr.K..Even if the headline states"su...(Read More)


Arrival, departure slots: Use them or lose them, Phuket airport chief warns airlines

Are slots not more about arrival/departure/refueling times? Are both, Bay and Platform parking fall...(Read More)


Cabinet OKs new perks for tourism

Christy sweet, you are right. However, during last Phuket town Immigration visit after returning fro...(Read More)


Fuzzy outlook for digital TV channels

Ads, ads, ads. Does it not occur to anyone that people choose to watch other media BECAUSE these fre...(Read More)


Fatal epileptic asthma attack suspected as pickup crashes off road

Sorry for the man, but if he was treated on 14 Oct at 8 PM for severe asthma attack, than he should ...(Read More)


Arrival, departure slots: Use them or lose them, Phuket airport chief warns airlines

Dont worry.. even having slots Thaiarway in BKK use the bus to transfer the passengers to the hub.. ...(Read More)