Warnings of a domino effect of protectionism as Asian leaders meet

Warnings of a domino effect of protectionism as Asian leaders meet

Warnings of a domino effect of protectionism as Asian leaders meet

Leader Aung San Suu Kyi is due to attend the Singapore meetings this week while Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, attending his first multilateral summit since returning to power in May, has served notice he has lost faith in the Nobel peace laureate over the issue.

In an interview with United States broadcast CNCB here yesterday, Dr Mahathir had predicted that Donald Trump's removal as United States president will end the superpower's ongoing trade war with China - the spillover effects of which have disrupted the economies of other countries, including Malaysia. "There are no winners in a trade war", Li said before his meeting with the ASEAN leaders.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and US Vice President Mike Pence are set to attend the related ASEAN events in Singapore, among others.

"We must therefore work towards the swift conclusion of RCEP negotiations", the President said in his intervention during a working dinner with Asean leaders on Tuesday night.

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In a statement, Malacañang said Duterte would "engage leaders" of Asean-member states and dialogue partners, which include China, Russia and the United States, on Manila's position on various issues such as our maritime dispute and illegal drugs.

RCEP was given extra impetus after Trump pulled the U.S. out of rival pact the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

"The existing free, open and rules-based multilateral system which has underpinned ASEAN's growth and stability has come under stress", he said, adding that it was unclear if the worldwide order would break up into rival blocs.

"China has opened its door to the world; we will never close it but open it even wider", Li said in the article, in which he called for an "open world economy" in the face of "rising protectionism and unilateralism".

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"In practice, China now has the capability to deny the Philippines access in the air or at sea to the islands and reefs it claims", he said.

China, Japan, India and other Asia-Pacific countries could announce a broad agreement on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which covers half the world's population, on the sidelines of the annual gathering. "We will enable ASEAN businesses to grow domestically, regionally and globally", he said, adding that discussions on the agreement had begun in June a year ago. Vietnam calls the waters the East Sea.

Labourers install a panel prior the start of the 22nd Asean coordinating council meeting on the sidelines of the 33rd Asean summit in Singapore on Tuesday.

Both US and China committed to supporting peace and stability in the South China Sea, the peaceful resolution of disputes, and freedom of navigation and overflight and other lawful uses of the sea in accordance with global law during the dialogue, it added.The US takes no sides in the territorial disputes in the South China Sea but has expressed interest in the peaceful settlement of the rival claims.

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