Asean countries target World Cup 2034 bid

25 Juin, 2019, 20:29 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha chairs the plenary session of the Asean summit at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok on Saturday

But trade has topped the agenda at the Bangkok meeting, as tit-for-tat tariffs between China and the USA cast a dark cloud over global growth.

Philippines president Rodrigo Duterte said he was "disappointed" that a much-delayed code of conduct between Asean countries and China has seen little progress. Thailand said the satellite warehouse would enable ASEAN and ASEAN's Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on disaster management (AHA Centre) in Indonesia to more effectively pursue rapid mobilisation and distribution of relief items to disaster-affected ASEAN member states in mainland Southeast Asia.

First proposed by China, RCEP's 16 signatories comprise the 10 ASEAN member states and six Asia-Pacific countries, including major economies China, India, Japan and South Korea. Thailand has said the final reading could be expected by the end of 2021.

Prayut also urged the region to complete the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations in 2019.

"It (RCEP) will help off-set any impact from the ongoing trade conflict", said Prayut.

RCEP is seen as a mechanism for China to draft the rules of Asia-Pacific trade, following a USA retreat from the region as it withdrew from another trade pact at the start of President Donald Trump's administration.

At the summit, the regional leaders emphasised that countries need to persist in principles of global law, including the 1982 UN Convention of the Law of the Sea, exercise self-restraint, and avoid unilateral actions that may undermine trust like land reclamation and militarisation in the East Sea.

But the forum has been criticised for allowing diplomatic niceties to outweigh concrete action on the sharpest problems facing the region.

More than 700,000 Rohingya crossed into Bangladesh in 2017, according to United Nations agencies, after a crackdown by Myanmar's military sparked by Rohingya insurgent attacks on security forces.

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Malaysia has been the bloc's most outspoken member on the issue.

That flies in the face of Myanmar's official policy, which denies the Rohingya full citizenship and the accompanying rights, instead labelling them "Bengalis" - illegal migrants from Bangladesh.

Asean has come under fire for suggesting the refugees will return to Myanmar within two years.

"I would like to invite the people of Asean to support the soccer associations in their countries in order to realise this dream". Meanwhile, the ASEAN Leaders' Statement on the ASEAN Cultural Year 2019 has been created to promote ASEAN's cultural heritage and diversity - the former which has clearly been eroded when discussing Myanmar's ethnic Rohingya population.

Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad supports the initiative by Asean to host a joint FIFA World Cup in 2034 in the region.

But with only vague promises to "prevent and significantly reduce marine debris" - and no mention of any ban on single-use plastics - environmentalists said it falls far short of what's needed.

A key global trade route rich in maritime resources, the South China Sea is one of the region's most contentious sovereignty issues.

The two countries "must both take the high road and resolve their differences before the situation spirals out of control", warned Duterte during an ASEAN leaders meeting Saturday.

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