News / Asia

ASEAN Leaders Meet to Discuss Cooperation, Burma

ASEAN leaders attend their retreat meeting at the 17th ASEAN summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, 28 Oct 2010
ASEAN leaders attend their retreat meeting at the 17th ASEAN summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, 28 Oct 2010

Leaders of Southeast Asian nations opened their talks in Vietnam, focusing on economic and regional integration. Concerns about Burma's controversial elections, and when it will release opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi were prominent on the first day.

Vietnam's Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung opened the summit by saying the Association of Southeast Asian Nations had contributed greatly to regional stability. He said ASEAN should work closely with its dialogue partners to maintain progress.

"ASEAN should continue to promote and facilitate our partners' deeper engagement and more constructive contributions to their resolution of issues related to peace, security and development in the region while ensuring ASEAN's central role and the support for building the ASEAN community," he said.

The ASEAN leaders are also expected to discuss Burma's controversial elections on November 7th.

The military is guaranteed a quarter of all seats in parliament, has sidelined opposition parties, and denied the vote to millions of ethnic minorities.

In Hanoi Thursday, Burma's Foreign Minister Nyan Win indicated to diplomats that opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi will be released from house arrest once her sentence ends - just days after the elections.

Philippines presidential spokesman Ricky Carandang said his government will welcome her release.

"We heard it only through the media. We haven't gotten any formal communication from them. But, we're hoping that that's true. I mean, it's going to go a long way toward helping the Myanmar government as far as international public opinion is concerned," said Carandang.

Aung San Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy won Burma's last elections in 1990 but the military ignored the results and has kept her locked up most of the time since.

The ASEAN heads of state meet Friday with United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who has expressed growing frustration with Burma.

They also hold talks with the leaders of China, Japan, and South Korea before being joined Saturday by Australia, India, and New Zealand for the East Asia Summit.

The United States and Russia will attend that gathering as observers and will join as members in 2011.

Carandang said ASEAN leaders would also try to make progress on resolving territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea.

"We met with Vietnam yesterday and they want to move it forward. We want to move it forward. But, it all depends whether China agrees to be bound by the code of conduct. And, that will be brought up," said Carandang.

Beijing claims the entire South China Sea, putting it in conflict over the Paracel and Spratly islands with Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam.

ASEAN and China have agreed that the disputes should be resolved peacefully but China has often detained Vietnamese fishing boats in the area.

Japan in September detained a Chinese fishing boat in the East China Sea and industry executives say Beijing responded by cutting off exports of important minerals.

Chinese media reports say Beijing also plans to boost its naval presence to protect its territory, raising concerns that it intends to assert its claims using both economic and military force.

ASEAN's members are Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid