ASEAN, other Asian leaders call for unity, cooperation towards economic integration
by UNTV News and Rescue | Posted on Wednesday, November 15th, 2017
President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, along with the leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states and South Korean President Moon Jae-in do the traditional ASEAN handshake as they pose for a photo prior to the start of 20th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on November 13, 2017. ACE MORANDANTE/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders as well as its partner countries – China, Japan and South Korea, have agreed to cooperate and unite to further improve their respective economies.
This is amid the rise of protectionism in other countries. The countries espousing a protectionist agenda prevent the entry of international trade or competition from foreign companies to protect local businesses.
The three biggest trading partners of ASEAN have expressed positive outlook in advancing the southeast Asian economic community.
“I hope that through this Summit we can build a consensus and send a positive signal that regional integration and advancing the East Asia economic community serves to benefit the people and the countries in the region,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reiterated the importance of financial cooperation in the region saying, “In the midst of concerns about the rise of protectionism and inward-looking orientation in the world, in order to enhance predictability of the economies of the region, to mitigate vulnerabilities, and to maintain and strengthen the free trade system, the significance of financial cooperation between the ASEAN Plus Three becomes increasingly greater.”
South Korean President Moon Jae-in also called for the establishment of a regional community saying, “Let us create a vision for the East Asian community of peace, prosperity and progress that has overcome the complex challenges including protectionist and self-centered approaches to globalization, aging and climate change,”
Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also noted during the session the importance of pushing for economic integration.
As the next ASEAN chairman, the prime minister vowed to further strengthen the cooperation and dialogue of Southeast Asian countries with its three Asian partner countries. – Nel Maribojoc | UNTV News & Rescue
MANILA, Philippines — Actress and former beauty queen Maria Isabel Lopez humbled herself and apologized for the breach of security protocol she committed when she illegally used the lane designated for the delegates and heads of state of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).
“Once again I’m apologizing to the people I have inconvenienced. The public, those people who missed their flights. It was a lapse of judgment on my part,” said Lopez.
With her lawyer, Lopez faced earlier the Land Transportation Office (LTO) after she was summoned and issued with a show cause order last Monday.
The Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) seeks to suspend or cancel the license of the actress for violating the security protocol authorities implemented during the ASEAN Summit.
The actress said she is ready to accept the punishment and fines the agency will impose on her, but pleaded to not revoke her license to drive.
“I am pleading. I have no driving violation or traffic violation on my driver’s license. Whatever penalty will be imposed on me, please give me some senior citizen’s discount,” said the actress.
The former beauty queen said she regrets what she did and noted that she should had waited in the heavy traffic.
Francis Ray Almora, the director of the LTO ordered Lopez to submit a written explanation on the incident before releasing a decision on whether or not to suspend or cancel her license.
“We are determining if Ms. Lopez is a proper person to hold a license or to drive a motor vehicle. It is consistent with the Republic Act 1436M, said the director. — Rajel Adora | UNTV News & Rescue
South Korea postponed its annual university entrance exam by a week on Wednesday after a rare earthquake rattled the country, shaking buildings and causing damage but no deaths.
Minister of Education Kim Sang-Kon said the hugely competitive exam, scheduled for Thursday would be postponed for the first time ever because of a natural disaster.
It was the country’s second-biggest earthquake on record. The exam would now be held on November 23 to ensure conditions were fair for everyone.
“The ministry decided to postpone the university entrance exam in 2017 to November 23, considering the fact that the safety of students is the most important and the need to ensure fairness in carrying out the test,” said the minister of education.
The 5.4 magnitude quake struck about 9 km (5 miles) north of the southeastern port city of Pohang, the Korea Meteorological Administration said.
“A fair amount of damage was reported. Due to the continued aftershocks, we are seeing many citizens in Pohang, including students, unable to return home,” said Kim Sang-Kon.
The university entrance exam is taken very seriously.
Commercial airliners do not fly during listening portions of the exam, while financial markets open later in the day to ensure light traffic for students to get to their exam centers. — Reuters
In a televised speech, US President Donald Trump bragged his five-nation Asia tour as a tremendous success claiming America is back as a global leader.
“The days of the United States being taken advantage of are over. Other countries treat America with the respect that our country so richly deserves,” said Trump.
Trump returned on Tuesday night, from a tour that took him to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
The president claimed to have won agreement from countries in the region to exert “maximum pressure” on North Korea in its development of nuclear weapons in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
He also mentioned of other accomplishments that resulted from his meeting with ASEAN and other partner countries such as paving the way for a “free and open Indo-Pacific”, and insisted on “free and reciprocal” trade relations with the Pacific Rim.
“At ASEAN, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, we made it clear that no one owns the ocean. Freedom of navigation and overflight are critical to the security and prosperity of all nations,” said the US president.
On his trip to the Philippines, Trump vowed to deepen the US ties with the Philippines and preserve the long-standing alliance the following rift from his predecessor, citing the US help during the war in Marawi City.
“During our visit, President Duterte of the Philippines thanked the American people and our armed forces for supporting the recent liberation of Marawi from ISIS,” said Trump. — Reuters
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