ASEAN Calls for Unity Amidst US-Sino Rivalry

Singapore urged regional leaders gathering Wednesday for a regional summit to unify and warned against threats to multilateral cooperation and international norms. “The existing free, open and rules-based multilateral system, which has underpinned ASEAN’s growth and stability, has come under stress,” said Singapore’s prime minister Lee Hsien Loong at the opening ceremony of 33rd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit and other related gatherings. "It is unclear if the world will settle into new rules and norms of international engagement or whether the international order will break up into rival blocs," he warned. Lee urged the ten member countries of ASEAN to remain united and said that given challenges such as trade uncertainties and technological disruptions, multilateral cooperation is now “more urgent than ever.” ASEAN Centrality ASEAN is facing increasing external pressures including the escalating U.S. – Sino rivalry in the region. Its members are concerned trade tensions between Washington and Beijing could trigger protectionist measures by other countries. U.S. President Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy and his shunning of multilateral frameworks is also causing anxiety for a region dependent on global free trade. Katherine Tseng of the National University of Singapore’s East Asian Institute said Trump is causing "great concerns if the aim is to de-emphasize ASEAN centrality." The ASEAN centrality concept refers to ASEAN's role in the regional security architecture, regional order, and the power dynamics among external powers that have interests in the region. Tseng added that to member countries, ASEAN centrality is a must to defend the region from “undue foreign intervention.” “With the risk of trade fight escalating with the two largest economies, I suppose there’s more urgency among the ASEAN 10 to work together,” said Song Seng Wun, an economist in the private banking unit of CIMB in Singapore. From the prime... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, ASEAN Calls for Unity Amidst US-Sino Rivalry, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you ASEAN Calls for Unity Amidst US-Sino Rivalry





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Wednesday, 14 November, 2018



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