2017 ASEAN summit leaders discuss DPRK, South China Sea

World Today

The regional meeting of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has just concluded in Manila, in the Philippines. It was the first major international conference hosted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

CGTN’s Barnaby Lo reports.

2017 ASEAN summit leaders discuss DPRK, South China Sea

The regional meeting of members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, has just concluded in Manila, in the Philippines. It was the first major international conference hosted by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte. CGTN's Barnaby Lo reports.

A lot of attention was given to Duterte’s war on drugs, territorial disputes in the South China Sea, and tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

The meeting was the first of two annual summits of ASEAN. Since 2015, the regional bloc has been working toward building an integrated economic community. Progress on this front was reported, along with discussions on how to best move forward so that the region’s strong economic growth can benefit all.

“Our peoples want a stable source of livelihood, a roof over one’s head, quality education for their children, affordable healthcare, a peaceful and stable government, and a dynamic economy,” Duterte said. “Today I say our peoples deserve these.”


 
The sentiment is consistent with how Duterte’s favored friendship and economic partnership with China over territorial disputes.

When he faced the media Saturday evening, he made no mention of any conflict in the South China Sea.

“They want the code of conduct enacted by at least, at the very lease before the end of this year, so that everybody would just feel comfortable,” Duterte said.

Senior officials and leaders found it necessary to weigh in on what is currently one of the most pressing issues in the world: The rising tensions on the Korean peninsula.

Duterte said ASEAN is “extremely worried” about the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

While not directly involved, Southeast Asia could be one of the first to suffer if a war breaks out on the peninsula.


Professor Song Qingrun on 2017 ASEAN conference

CGTN’s Susan Roberts interviewed Song Qingrun, from the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations on the 2017 ASEAN conference.