Southeast Asian Regional Leaders Chan-Ocha, Modi, Abe and Widodo Attend Gala Dinner
▶️ Southeast Asian and other regional country leaders attended a gala dinner hosted by Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) chair Thailand, Sunday, November 3.
👉 Thailand said on Sunday that Southeast Asian nations are committed to signing a pact by February 2020 on forging what could become the world’s largest trade bloc, even after new demands by India dealt a blow to the process backed by China.
Leaders from the 10-member states of ASEAN are in the midst of their three-day meeting in Thailand. The leaders will also join an East Asia Summit, Monday, November 4, along with officials from Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, the United States and Russia.
Beijing said Sunday it is “ready to work” with Southeast Asian nations on a code of conduct in the flashpoint South China Sea, where it is accused of bullying fellow claimants and building up military installations.
China claims most of the resource-rich waterway, a major global shipping route and long a source of tension among claimants in Southeast Asia.
The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been locked in talks for a code of conduct for the sea, where China is accused of deploying warships, arming outposts and ramming fishing vessels.
The agreement, set to be finished in 2021, will set out conduct guidelines for the sea along with conflict resolution parameters. (Reuters/AFP)