BANGKOK, Thailand – President Rodrigo Duterte has urged the United States and China to end their long-standing trade war and asked the two super powers to ‘take the high road’ and resolve their differences for the sake of global economy.
“The trade war between the United States and China is creating uncertainty. It is taking a toll on global growth. And it could hinder the ongoing processes of economic integration,” the President said in a meeting during the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit in Bangkok on Saturday (June 23).
Duterte added that the conflict between the two nations indeed slows down economic integration among countries.
Meanwhile, the President has also urged the ASEAN regional bloc to support the open and rules-based multilateral trading system instead of the “zero-sum approach” to international economic relations.
“We in ASEAN must strengthen our support for a rules-based and open multilateral trading system,” Duterte said before the leaders of the other member states.
“In pursuit of growth, we should be partners not competitors,” he said.
ASEAN has stepped up its efforts on the proposed free-trade agreement Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).
The regional bloc targets to finalize the trade pact by November.
The agreement involves six Asia-Pacific nations – Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand – with which ASEAN has existing free trade agreements.
RCEP would be the world’s largest free trade deal once approved.
President Duterte also emphasized the Philippines support to the ASEAN Single Window initiative with aims to integrate single-window systems of all ASEAN member states through electronic exchange of trade-related documents towards the establishment of cross-border trade.
There were no Filipino nationals harmed during the shooting incident in Thailand, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
In a statement, the DFA said no one from the nine reported Filipinos was harmed when a shooting incident occurred in Nakhon Ratchasima Province, Thailand, from the evening of February 8 until the early morning of February 9.
“The Philippine Embassy in Bangkok dispatched First Secretary and Consul General Val Roque posthaste to Nakhon Ratchasima to check on nine Filipinos who were reported to have been trapped in the mall at the time of the incident and had been able to escape and confirmed to be well and safe,” the statement reads.
The Philippine government and the Filipino people, meanwhile, offer their condolences to the Thai people, and in particular to the victims and their loved ones.—AAC
Bangkok – Police said Wednesday they had arrested a man they suspect killed three people, among them a toddler, and injured another four during the robbery of a jewelry shop in a central province in Thailand.
Gen. Chakthip Chaijinda, a commissioner-general of the Royal Thai Police, confirmed the arrest of Prasittichai Khaokaew, a 39-year-old school director, who he said was linked to the gruesome incident at a Lopburi province shopping center earlier this month, footage of which went viral.
“The alleged offender has been questioned about his motives but details cannot be revealed at the moment since we have not finished the investigation process yet,” Chakthip said during a media briefing.
Prasittichai was arrested Wednesday morning after the criminal court issued an arrest warrant Tuesday evening.
Police did not reveal further details and said another press conference would be held at 10.30 am on Thursday at the Royal Thai Police Headquarters in the capital Bangkok, adding they would address the motives and official charges against the suspect.
“The alleged offender did not deny any of the charges,” the commissioner-general said. “He thought he wouldn’t be able to get away with it.”
Chakthip also said Prasittichai did not resist arrest and that he “accepted his own mistakes.”
Prasittichai teaches at Wat Phochai School, a primary school located in Singburi, a neighboring province of Lopburi. Local media said he was originally from Lopburi, but police did not confirm this.
Security camera footage from Jan. 10 shows how a man wearing a balaclava shoots at customers and staff while approaching the counter. He then gets on the counter and proceeds to walk up and down, before rummaging through valuables and making off with a handful of jewelry.
Police said the man, who was wielding a gun with a silencer, first shot at a security guard before proceeding with his rampage.
A separate video shows how a child walking by falls to the ground after sustaining a wound to the head before his mother takes him away to find cover. Authorities said the boy died at the hospital.
Out of the more than 10 million firearms in Thailand, only 6 million are legally registered, according to Australian monitoring organization GunPolicy.org. EFE-EPA
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