The leaders of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations members met with top officials from eight other countries, including China, the U.S., and Russia. Although the ASEAN-East Asia Summit is designed as an economic forum, there was no escaping the pressing security challenges of the region. CCTV’s Rian Maelzer reports.
Security issues top agenda as ASEAN meeting concludesThe leaders of the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations members met with top officials from eight other countries, including China, the U.S., and Russia. Although the ASEAN-East Asia Summit is designed as an economic forum, there was no escaping the pressing security challenges of the region. CCTV's Rian Maelzer reports.
The shadow of the recent terrorist attacks on Paris, Mali, Egypt and elsewhere hung over the East Asia Summit, forcing global security high onto the agenda in what should really have been a celebration of ASEAN’s coming of age.
“There was a sense that we have to do more, we have to stay together, we have to act together and we have to redouble our efforts to make sure that we can stamp out violent extremism, and in particular the kind of terror that has been unleashed by I-S in many parts of the world,” Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said.
The rising tensions in the South China Sea, and how best to resolve them, also ended up dominating discussions with all sides seeming to agree on the need to speedily reach a binding code of conduct for the sea.
But during these two days of meetings, the leaders didn’t lose sight of the goals of freeing up trade and increasing economic cooperation.
The countries of ASEAN and their free trade partners including China, India, Japan and Korea, worked to advance progress on a 16-country free trade deal called the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
Earlier on Sunday, ASEAN formally declared that it had gone from a mere regional grouping to becoming a “community.” But while the association has made huge strides in reducing tariffs, the leaders acknowledged that far too many barriers to full economic integration, let alone political and cultural unity, remain.
ASEAN also unveiled its Vision 2025 – laying out the goals for the next deca to try to make the ASEAN “community” not just a slogan or aspiration, but a reality.
China proposes five-point plan to try to promote stability in South China Sea
While in Malaysia for the ASEAN meetings, China’s Premier Li Keqiang unveiled a five-point plan to calm tensions in the South China Sea.
CCTV America’s Jessica Stone reports.
China proposes five-point plan to try to promote stability in South China SeaWhile in Malaysia for the ASEAN meetings, China's Premier Li Keqiang unveiled a five-point plan to calm tensions in the South China Sea. CCTV America's Jessica Stone reports.
Li called on all countries to safeguard peace and stability, but said only countries directly involved in disputes should try to resolve competing claims. Premier Li also pushed for a code of conduct in the South China Sea and asked non-claimants outside the region, such as the United States, to refrain from causing tension.
All countries, he added, should uphold freedom of navigation and overflight.
In recent weeks, the U.S. Defense Secretary visited an aircraft carrier on patrol in the South China Sea and a U.S. warship traveled through what China considers its territory in the Nansha Islands, all in the name of maintaining freedom of navigation.
“In a very high profile manner, the U.S. sent military vessels within 12 nautical miles of China’s islands and reefs. This has gone beyond the scope of freedom of navigation. It is a political provocation and the purpose is to test China’s response,” China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhemin said.
Last week, U.S. President Barack Obama also pledged $250 million to its allies in the region, including the Philippines which has competing claims with China over the Nansha Islands.
Beijing says the U.S. has no role in dispute settlement as it’s not a party to any claims. China has long preferred to negotiate directly with individual claimaints.
At the same time, it has promised to continue reclaiming islands in the region.
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has also recently weighed in on the ongoing territorial disputes in the South China Sea, calling on all parties to use restraint and to solve their disagreements peacefully.
Jia Xiudong of CIIS discusses ASEAN developments
CCTV America’s Susan Roberts interviewed Jia Xiudong, a senior research fellow at the China Institute of International Studies about the conclusion of the ASEAN meeting and what progress was made.