WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Foreign ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from August 2 to 5, to tackle the state of affairs in the region.
The gathering is the first to take place in-person in over two years, following the spread of COVID-19 in early 2020.
Aside from the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, top diplomats in the region are scheduled to meet with their counterparts from China, South Korea, Japan, the United Kingdom, the United States, India, Canada, Australia, European Union, New Zealand, and Russia.
Bookmark this page for the latest updates on the gathering, as well as essays and analysis pieces about the 55th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting.
Strong arguments over Taiwan at ‘lively’ ASEAN meeting, chair says
PHNOM PENH, Cambodia – The chair of this week’s meetings of the regional bloc ASEAN said on Saturday, August 6, that discussions among foreign ministers over Taiwan tensions were lively and included some strong arguments, but it was better disputes were handled with words.
Prak Sokhonn, Cambodia’s foreign minister, said he told a meeting of foreign ministers they must have calm, dignified, polite, and civilized discussions.
“The most important thing is that we continue to talk to each other,” he told a news conference. – Rappler.com
Japan remains open to dialogue with China -Japan foreign minister
Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said on Friday, August 5, that Japan remains open to dialogue with China as keeping communications intact is all the more important when ties are strained.
Hayashi’s comment to reporters came after China on Thursday canceled a meeting between Hayashi and his Chinese counterpart, set to take place on the sidelines of an ASEAN meeting in Cambodia, due to its displeasure with a G7 statement urging Beijing to resolve the tension over Taiwan peacefully.
ASEAN ‘deeply disappointed’ by limited progress in Myanmar peace plan
Southeast Asia’s regional bloc ASEAN is “deeply disappointed” by the limited progress made by Myanmar’s military rulers in implementing a peace agreement to end the conflict in the country, a communique issued by its foreign ministers said.
The communique on Friday recommended that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ summit in November assess progress on implementing the “five-point consensus” by military authorities in Myanmar “to guide the decision on the next steps.”
No goodwill yet from Myanmar junta to implement ASEAN peace plan – Indonesia foreign minister
Indonesia has not seen any commitment or “goodwill” from the Myanmar military junta to implement a peace plan that it agreed on with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), its foreign minister said late Wednesday, August 3.
The 10-nation bloc of ASEAN, which is hosting a big international gathering this week, has pushed Myanmar to follow a peace “consensus” agreed last year.
Minister Retno Marsudi said in a video statement that some of the countries meeting said that there were “many broken promises” from the junta.
She said ASEAN foreign ministers had agreed to put out a joint communique from the gathering and paragraphs on Myanmar were being deliberated.
ASEAN concerned over regional volatility, risk of miscalculations over Taiwan
Southeast Asia’s regional bloc ASEAN warned on Thursday, August 4, that an increase in international and regional volatility could lead to “miscalculation, serious confrontation, open conflicts and unpredictable consequences among major powers”.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations made the remarks in a statement from foreign ministers after the bloc’s chair Cambodia had called on all sides to de-escalate tensions over Taiwan.
No value in engaging Myanmar generals unless progress made – Singapore
Further engagement with Myanmar’s military rulers will be of limited value unless progress is demonstrated in implementing an agreed peace plan, Singapore’s foreign ministry said on Wednesday, August 3, summarizing discussions at a regional meeting.
Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) noted recent executions by the Myanmar junta were a grave setback for ASEAN’s peace process and disrespected the special envoy’s efforts to find a solution to the conflict, the ministry said in a statement.