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29th ASEAN Summit Reviews Cooperation, Future Direction

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Laos as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, yesterday continued to convene the 29th ASEAN Summit at the National Convention Centre in Vientiane.

The summit was chaired by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith with the participation of ASEAN heads of state and government, the Secretary-General of ASEAN, and leaders from ASEAN dialogue partners.

The leaders reviewed cooperation between ASEAN and its dialogue partners and external parties over the past year and charted out a future direction, while maintaining ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture.

The leaders also agreed to intensify ASEAN’s cooperation with dialogue partners and external parties through ASEAN-led mechanisms, namely ASEAN Plus One, ASEAN Plus Three, the ASEAN Regional Forum, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, and the East Asia Summit.

In addition, ASEAN leaders had a candid exchange of views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern.

This included traditional and non-traditional security challenges such as terrorism and extremism, natural disasters, climate change, irregular migration, human trafficking, territorial disputes, maritime security and safety, armed conflict, transnational crime and developments in various regions such as the Middle East, Korean Peninsula, and South China Sea.

ASEAN leaders have also convened meetings with the heads of state or government for the 19th ASEAN-China Summit, ASEAN-Japan Summit, 18th ASEAN-Republic of Korea Summit, the First ASEAN-Australia Biennial Summit along with the 19th ASEAN Plus Three Summit, 8th ASEAN-UN Summit and 8th Mekong-Japan Summit.

The 14th ASEAN-India Summit, 4th ASEAN-United States Summit and 11th East Asia Summit will take place today (September 8).

China and ASEAN held their 19th ASEAN-China Summit yesterday and commemorated the 25th anniversary of dialogue relations between the two sides.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and leaders from the 10 ASEAN members attended the summit. Li delivered a speech at the commemorative meeting.

China, as ASEAN’s most active cooperation partner, is ASEAN’s largest trading partner, while the regional bloc is China’s third largest trading partner.

Li Keqiang said relations between China and ASEAN had matured since the two sides established the dialogue mechanism 25 years ago.

Apart from the economic field, cooperation between China and ASEAN over the past 25 years has yielded significant achievements in various areas. According to Liu Zhenmin, China’s vice foreign minister, people-to-people exchanges are viewed as a new pillar in China-ASEAN cooperation.

ASEAN was established on August 8, 1967 in Bangkok, Thailand, with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration). At that time the five countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand constituted the bloc’s membership. Brunei Darussalam then joined on January 7, 1984, Vietnam on July 28, 1995, Laos and Myanmar on July 23, 1997, and Cambodia on April 30, 1999.

 

Source: Vientiane Times