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Sept. 6-8 ASEAN Summit To Solidify China Ties, Role in Silk Road

Aug. 29, 2016 (EIRNS)—The 28th Annual ASEAN Summit will follow immediately after the G20 meeting in China, with many world leaders also participating in aspects of the many associated summits during the three days in Vientiane, Laos.

Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, as ASEAN Chairman, will preside over 11 summits, including the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits (the 29th is a retreat for the ASEAN leaders); summits between ASEAN and China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, the UN, India, and the United States; the 19th ASEAN+3 Summit (Japan, South Korea and China); and the 11th East Asia Summit (10 ASEAN nations China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Russia, Australia, New Zealand and United States).

The ASEAN chairmanship will pass to the Philippines for the coming year. With the western leaders in a state of panic over the new Duterte government’s turn towards China, rejection of Obama’s war policy, his no-holds-barred war on drugs, his open attack on the American Ambassador for subversion of his country, his rejection of the Paris Climate fraud, and more, it will be a most interesting year for ASEAN.

In fact, it was the Philippines under past president Aquino, a puppet of Obama and Wall Street, which prevented unity on important issues for ASEAN, by constantly retailing Obama’s lies and confrontational policies towards China. The most important side-event this year will be the ASEAN-China Summit. Duterte stated publicly last week that he will not raise the South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Summit and related summits, other than discussing "face to face" in planned bilateral meetings between Beijing and Manila.

China and ASEAN will release two documents at the summit regarding the negotiation of a Code of Conduct (COC) for the South China Sea, worked out at a pre-meeting of senior diplomats from China and the ten ASEAN countries on Aug. 15-16 in Inner Mongolia. These are guidelines on the establishment of the senior officials’ hotline in response to maritime emergencies, and a joint statement on applications of the Code for Unplanned Encounters (CUEs) in the South China Sea. The diplomats also agreed to quicken the pace of meetings toward establishing the COC.

Also, China is sponsoring the 13th China-ASEAN Expo from Sept. 11-14 in the southern city of Nanning. More than 2,000 companies are expected to attend the Expo. Exhibition halls will be established for Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Thailand. China is ASEAN’s largest trade partner, and ASEAN has been China’s third-largest partner since 2010. Mutual trade volume was nearly 472 billion U.S. dollars in 2015.

Obama will be making the first visit to Laos by an American president for the East Asian Summit. South Korea’s Presidient Park Geun-hye will also attend.

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