Duterte asks US, China to end trade war

Marje Pelayo   •   June 24, 2019   •   1920

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte joins other leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member states during the 34th ASEAN Summit plenary session at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on June 22, 2019. SIMEON CELI JR./PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

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.

Hong Kong doesn’t need “suggestions” after Trump Tiananmen comments – China

Robie de Guzman   •   August 19, 2019

Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang (Image grabbed from Reuters footage)

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday (August 19) that Hong Kong doesn’t need “suggestions” after U.S. President Donald Trump told media that a “Tiananmen”-style crackdown on Hong Kong’s recent anti-government protests would harm trade talks between the two countries.

“President Trump has previously said that Hong Kong is part of China and they must solve their problem by themselves. They don’t need any suggestions. We hope the U.S. side can live up their word,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media in Beijing.

In recent weeks U.S. President Donald Trump has made a series of comments on Hong Kong via twitter, one of which urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet with protesters to diffuse weeks of tensions.

Hundreds of China’s People’s Armed Police (PAP) continue to be stationed at a sports stadium in Shenzhen that borders Hong Kong.

The U.S. State Department has said it was “deeply concerned” about the movements, which have prompted worries that the troops could be used to break up protests. (Reuters)

(Wang Shubing, Irene Wang, Joseph Campbell)

Pompeo says US doesn’t ask Southeast Asians to take sides

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

Courtesy: Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Southeast Asian counterparts at a meeting in Bangkok on Thursday (August 1) that the United States never asked Indo-Pacific nations to take sides.

Regional rivalry between the United States and an increasingly powerful China hangs over this week’s security meetings between foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and world powers.

“Look, we don’t ever ask any Indo-Pacific nations to choose between countries,” Pompeo said at the start of the meeting. “Our engagement in this region has not been and will not be a zero-sum exercise. Our interests simply naturally converge with yours to our mutual benefit,” he added.

The ASEAN 10-nation regional bloc consists of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Philippines, Brunei, and Singapore. (REUTERS)

(Production: Artorn Pookasook, Vorasit Satienlerk, Jiraporn Kuhakan, Juarawee Kittisilpa)

Three blasts hit Bangkok as city hosts major security meeting

Robie de Guzman   •   August 2, 2019

Courtesy: Reuters

Three small explosions, one possibly a homemade bomb, injured three people in Bangkok on Friday (August 2), as the Thai capital hosted a Southeast Asian security meeting with top diplomats from the United States, China and other world powers.

The first explosions were heard just before 9 a.m. (0200 GMT) at two sites near central Bangkok.

A third blast was heard shortly afterwards at a government complex hosting several ministries on the northern side of the city.

Police said two street cleaners had been hurt by what appeared to be a homemade bomb in the Suan Luang district.

Eyewitnesses said a security guard had also been hurt close to the 77-storey King Power Mahanakhon building. The area was partly cordoned off as police searched the area.

Bangkok is currently hosting a regional security meeting of foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and their counterparts from world powers including the United States, China and Russia. (REUTERS)

(Production: Soe Zeya Tun, Panu Wongcha-um, Juarawee Kittisilpa, Lion Schellerer)

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