Indonesia and Singapore feud over ASEAN engagement in Indo-Pacific

BANGKOK — When Southeast Asian foreign ministers meet in Bangkok later this month they will have their work cut out to convince their dialogue partners that they are strategically relevant to the U.S., but also friends of China. That will require deft diplomacy, given that officials from both the established and the rising superpower will be present. The ministers already have a script to follow: The centrality of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations in these shifting geopolitical tides was spelled out in June in a five-page report, “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific,” a…

Asean morning news for July 19

Asean morning news Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu   Southeast Asia organized crime profits unprecendented: UN officeProfits generated by organized crime groups in Southeast Asia have reached “unprecedented” and “dangerous” levels amid expanded operations, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) warned on Thursday.— Newsd Myanmar: Human rights violations affecting region and ASEAN must apply pressure, says UN expertHuman rights violations in Myanmar are creating increasingly serious issues for South and South East Asia, a UN expert said today, urging stronger action by regional countries to address potential…

Asean morning news for July 17

Asean morning news Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu   Asean-BAC’s non-tariff bid gains tractionThe Asean Business Advisory Council (Asean-BAC) was satisfied with negotiations over Asean trade facilitation procedures, in which all members agreed to form and implement guidelines on non-tariff measures, says the Trade Negotiations Department.— Bangkok Post US banks on PH to ensure COC in SCS consistent with int’l lawThe United States government is banking on the Philippines as a claimant state in the South China Sea/West Philippine Sea to ensure that the conclusion of a Code of Conduct…

Asean morning news for July 15

Asean morning news Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu   South China Sea dispute can only have a fair solution by keeping the South-East Asian grouping at the heart At a recent seminar organised to mark the third anniversary of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) ruling on the South China Sea (SCS) dispute, Ambassador of Vietnam to India, Pham Sanh Chau, raised some interesting points.— Spratly Islands How Chinese missile tests could up the stakes for the US in the South China SeaIn the final days of June, soon after…

ASEAN defense ministers discuss South China Sea in annual meeting

BANGKOK (Kyodo) — Defense ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Thursday exchanged views on the situation in the South China Sea in which some members of the grouping and China are at odds. A joint declaration signed by the ministers after the meeting said they commended the first maritime exercise between ASEAN and China conducted last year, and welcomed the ASEAN-U.S. maritime exercise to be held later this year. Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Prawit Wongsuwon, who chaired the meeting, said at…

Asean defence ministers begin meeting in Bangkok

(Defence Ministry photo) Defence ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations on Thursday began their annual meeting, this time in Bangkok, with security threats, the disputed South China Sea and North Korea high on the agenda. Defence Ministry spokesman Kongcheep Tantrawanich said the 10 ministers were discussing both internal security cooperation and regional issues, especially cooperation in tackling security threats and combating terrorism. The ministers were set to adopt the terms of references tied to the “Our Eyes” initiative for sharing strategic information on terrorism and other non-traditional security…

Asean morning news for July 11

Asean morning news Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu   China shuns war in South China Sea- foreign ministry spokesmanChinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang said on Tuesday China does not want any escalation of tensions that may lead to war in the South China Sea.— Business Mirror Heads of U.S. And Chinese Navies Discuss Decreasing South China Sea RisksChief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson meets with People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN) Commander Vice Adm. Shen Jinlong and other senior Chinese defense officials at the PLAN headquarters in Beijing on…

Asean morning news for July 10

Asean morning news Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu   ASEAN Trade Ministers persuade India to speed up talks on RCEPPressure is piling up on India from other members of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), especially the ASEAN, to end its stalemate with China on market opening offered under the proposed pact.— The Hindu BusinessLine Losing one island cost Japan a war. That’s a warning for the South China SeaIn early July 1944, on a tiny island in the Pacific Ocean, the United States clinched a devastating defeat over Japan…

Asean morning news for July 9

Asean morning news Compiled by Stella-maris Ewudolu          @stmarisewudolu   Rohingya refugee voices amplify across Southeast AsiaThe 2017 Rohingya humanitarian crisis caused by Myanmar is not only affecting Bangladesh, which has taken in 740,000 refugees, but it’s also causing strife in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand.— The Jakarta Post Thailand plans ‘Trans-Asean’ bullet train linking China, Laos and even SingaporeBangkok residents may find it hard to imagine that their next trip to Beijing could begin in Bang Sue.— Today Online China denies South China Sea missile testsChina’s Defense Ministry on Friday denied…