Security, economic issues dominate ASEAN meeting agenda

World Today

The 27th ASEAN summit held in Kuala Lumpur took place in the shadow of growing global security concerns, and amid rising tensions in the South China Sea. CCTV’s Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Security, economic issues dominate ASEAN meeting agenda

Security, economic issues dominate ASEAN meeting agenda

The 27th ASEAN summit held in Kuala Lumpur took place in the shadow of growing global security concerns, and amid rising tensions in the South China Sea. CCTV's Rian Maelzer reports from Kuala Lumpur.
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The participants in the summit and sub-meetings, including China, were keen to stress the positives of greater cooperation. Amid the leaders’ usual warm handshakes, the pomp and the fanfare, there were obvious signs of the heightened security tensions gripping the world right now.

In his opening speech, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak spoke of the need to combat the threat of Islamist militancy – something he said blasphemes the name of Islam. Najib’s focus, though, was on how much progress ASEAN has made since its founding in 1967… and in particular, the milestone it is about to reach in creating an integrated economic community at year end.

“A historic moment marking the culmination of a decades-long effort to integrate, cohere and forge together. It is a day that we have all been waiting for. It is a day that we – ASEAN – can be proud of,” Najib said.

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ASEAN leaders discussed how to eliminate the barriers that still obstruct the truly free, cross-border flow of goods, services, investment and skilled labour. And they looked to their goals for the next decade, called Vision 2025, which aims to make ASEAN even better integrated, more resilient, more competitive…and more relevant to ordinary people.

ASEAN leaders also met with leaders from China, Japan and South Korea, together and individually.

“China has always put its relations with ASEAN countries as its priority among its relations with neighbours. China firmly supports the integration and community process, and supports its pivotal role in regional cooperation,” China’s Premier Li Keqiang said.

But as at the recent APEC summit in Manila, there was no escaping the issue of the rising tensions over the South China Sea, with China and four ASEAN countries having overlapping territorial claims.

ASEAN leaders have stridently different views on how best to handle the dispute. But one thing all parties say they agree on is the need to avoid any rash actions, to ensure continued peace, security and prosperity of the region.


Marc Mealy of US-ASEAN Business Council discusses latest ASEAN meeting

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CCTV America’s Susan Roberts interviewed Marc Mealy, Vice President for policy at the US-ASEAN Business Council about the latest news at the ASEAN meeting, leaders’ response to the latest terror attacks in Mali and Paris, and China’s influence in the Southeast Asian region.

Marc Mealy of US-ASEAN Business Council discusses latest ASEAN meeting

Marc Mealy of US-ASEAN Business Council discusses latest ASEAN meeting

CCTV America's Susan Roberts interviewed Marc Mealy, Vice President for policy at the US-ASEAN Business Council about the latest news at the ASEAN meeting, leaders' response to the latest terror attacks in Mali and Paris, and China's influence in the Southeast Asian region.
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Follow the council on twitter: @USASEANBusiness