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

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More