Wednesday, 17 July, 2019

Duterte to renew PH stand on South China Sea in ASEAN Summit

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 ‘U.S. Vice President Mike Pence to discuss freedom of navigation with PM Modi’
Russell Knight | 13 November, 2018, 22:15

A China-backed bid to complete the world's largest trade deal - without the United States - was pushed back to next year after Asia-Pacific trade ministers failed to agree key terms at a Singapore summit.

Although this is triggered mainly by trade tensions between the two world powers for developed countries to adopt protective measures against developing countries, including the Asean countries, Mahathir strongly believes that it is not the time to do so. "There are no winners in a trade war", Li said before his meeting with the ASEAN leaders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will have a number of high-profile multilateral and bilateral meetings with global leaders including US Vice President Mike Pence and Singapore premier Lee Hsein Loong during his two-day visit in Singapore beginning tomorrow, Indian officials said today.

President Duterte is set to reaffirm the Philippines' stand on the disputed South China Sea at the 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) here.

Singaporean Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing said in his remarks that it was the region's first agreement to facilitate cross-border e-commerce transactions, which were expected to encourage ASEAN countries to promote paperless transactions.

The Modi-Pence meeting comes just days after the U.S. re-imposed sanctions on import of crude oil from Iran but temporarily allowed India, China, South Korea, Japan, Italy, Greece, Taiwan and Turkey to continue the purchase from the Gulf nation without any penalty.

Returning to the theme as the leaders sat down to dinner, he said: "Countries are becoming insular, retreating from multilateralism and globalisation, which has been the cornerstone of ASEAN peace and stability".

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With the USA having pulled out of rival pact the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the RCEP is now the world's biggest trade deal.

"Free trade has, in some aspects, prevented war effectively", he said in a speech on Tuesday. The TPP is still alive even without Washington, but RCEP is now the world's biggest trade deal.

Li also said he hoped to finalize a major trade pact with 15 other countries called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) in 2019, and that they would announce "substantive progress" in negotiations at meetings this week.

China and ASEAN agreed in August on a working text to continue long drawn-out negotiations over the code of conduct.

Officials said the trip to the city-state is aimed at upgrading cooperative relations with ASEAN through expanding trade and people-to-people exchanges, strengthening regional crisis management capabilities and speeding up discussions on how to respond jointly to the fourth industrial revolution. Vietnam calls the waters the East Sea.

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.

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