LABUAN BAJO, Indonesia – Southeast Asian leaders arrive in idyllic Labuan Bajo on Tuesday, May 9, for the 42nd Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.
The tranquility of the island is a stark contrast to the layered threats and issues that members – and the one observer – of the bloc are facing.
There’s the prolonged tensions in the South China Sea, the impact of the rivalry between China and the United States, the crisis in Myanmar, a human trafficking ring run by a cryptocurrency mafia, the economic and political impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, tensions between Taiwan and China, and many, many others that have implications on the $3-trillion bloc’s growth prospects.
Rappler reporter Ralf Rivas walks us through the difficult and sometimes tense topics that will be taken up behind closed doors – both in large group discussions and in intimate bilateral talks between Southeast Asian leaders. – Rappler.com