ASEAN Summit Kicking Off in Singapore

13 November, 2018, 22:18 | Author: Eric Barnett
  • The integrated command centre of the RSS Sovereignty. The Singapore Armed Forces will deploy over 40 assets from several task forces to secure Singapore's airspace and surrounding waters during the Summit

For the first time, the United States called on China to remove missiles it deployed on three fortified outposts it built in the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Trade and maritime issues are expected on the agenda at the ASEAN summit in Singapore.

Malaysian Prime Mahathir Mohamad told a business forum ahead of the summmit in Singapore that other developed countries would take a cue from the United States and China if their tit-for-tat tariff war is allowed to spiral.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will leave for Singapore this evening to attend the 13th East Asia Summit, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and other associated meetings of the ASEAN Summit now underway.

China was now the standard bearer of global free trade, he added, with the RCEP - a sweeping 16-country deal that includes China, Japan, India and the 10 members of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) - at the heart of its strategy.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang - for a second day - struck a conciliatory note on the trade spat, saying he was hopeful that the two sides will find a way to prevent it escalating further.

RCEP was given extra impetus after Trump pulled the USA out of rival pact the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

China is pushing the RCEP deal - Assistant Foreign Minister Chen Xiaodong told reporters on Thursday it "will be of great significance for deepening regional cooperation, coping with unilateralism and protectionism, and promoting an open, inclusive and rules-based worldwide trading system".

On the sidelines of the ASEAN and APEC summits, Moon also plans to hold a series of one-on-one meetings with other world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Li said that Beijing hoped a consultation with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the disputed South China Sea would be completed in three years, and that such an deal would bolster free trade.

President Rodrigo Duterte called on Asean-member states for the "swift" conclusion of the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) after Asia-Pacific trade ministers failed to reach their year-end target of a "substantial conclusion" during the economic ministers' meeting here.

According to Malacañang, the Philippines is also looking forward to exchanging views on ASEAN community-building as well as discussions on regional and global developments that impact regional peace, security and stability.

Both US and China committed to supporting peace and stability in the South China Sea, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea in accordance with worldwide law during the dialogue, it added.The US takes no sides in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea but has expressed interest in the peaceful settlement of the rival claims.



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