Korean president to attend ASEAN meetings, bilateral summits

Carla Harmon
November 13, 2017

Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc arrived in Manila, the Philippines on Sunday to attend the 31st ASEAN Summit and related meetings from November 12-14 which are set to focus on orientations and measures for enhancing connectivity to realise the ASEAN Community Vision 2025. The US has been favoring a larger role for India in the strategically key Indo-Pacific region.

Issues relating to maritime security, terrorism, non-proliferation and migration are likely to be the main points of discussion at the East Asia Summit which, apart from the 10 ASEAN member states, includes India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Russia and the US.

A meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Modi will be significant, as this is the first meeting since the idea of a quadrilateral grouping, involving Japan, US, Australia and India, has taken shape in recent months.

He will also participate in the ASEAN business and investment summit as well as a meeting of leaders of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP).

"The reason is simple: there is growing nervousness in the regional power centres in the Indo-Pacific about China's emergence as a major global power and about the ability and willingness of the United States (alone) to manage this power transition effectively", he said.

The Indian prime minister will be accompanied by top diplomatic and security officials during his visit to Manila including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval And Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar.

While in Manila for the ASEAN meeting, the South Korean leader will also hold bilateral talks with the leaders of the Philippines and Singapore.

In his Na Dang speech, Trump had spoken of urging the World Bank and Asian Development Bank to focus on infrastructure funding in the region that would promote economic growth.

President Widodo participated in the summit after attending the 25th APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting in Danang, Vietnam, on November 10-11, 2017.

In a near similar statement on its website, the Japanese foreign ministry said "participants discussed the direction for cooperation including with countries in the region, in upholding the rules-based order and respect for worldwide law in the Indo-Pacific".

India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

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