ASEAN

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Obama Attends East Asia Summit Amid Sea Feud

China at center of multiple territorial disputes

(Newser) - President Obama is in Cambodia today, meeting with East Asian leaders amid a contentious territorial dispute over the South China Sea . Speaking publicly, neither Obama nor Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao responded to reporters' shouted questions about the tensions, the BBC reports. Instead, Obama referred to a "cooperative and constructive... More »

Clinton to Make Historic Visit to Burma

In other big news, Aung San Suu Kyi to rejoin politics

(Newser) - Next month, Hillary Clinton will become the first American secretary of state to visit Burma in more than 50 years. President Obama, who is on a diplomatic mission to southeast Asia, announced the historic visit today, citing "flickers of progress in these last several weeks" in the long-shunned nation,... More »

N. Korea Warns of 'Physical Response' to US Drills

Exercises will be seen as 'hostile'

(Newser) - North Korea has threatened a "physical response" if the US and South Korea go ahead with planned naval exercises this weekend. Such action would be regarded as "another expression of hostile policy," said North Korean spokesman Ri Tong Il, who warned that "there will be physical... More »

Leaders Punt on Copenhagen Deal

Acknowledge gaps too far to bridge before climate change summit

(Newser) - Just 22 days ahead of Copenhagen, President Obama and other leaders have declared that a meaningful and binding international deal is unlikely to come out of the climate change conference. The move, as the New York Times reports, sets the bar much lower and effectively delays the most treacherous issues... More »

Obama to Myanmar: Free Suu Kyi

First direct appeal for pro-democracy leader's release

(Newser) - President Barack Obama today abandoned decades of Western avoidance and told Myanmar's prime minister to free opposition leader and fellow Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi in a rare face-to-face meeting. The strong message, delivered during his summit with leaders of 10 Southeast Asian nations, signals a further thawing in... More »

North Korea Blasts 'Funny Lady' Clinton

War of words after Clinton tells Pyongyang it has 'no friends'

(Newser) - If insults were nukes, the US and North Korea would have destroyed the world today. Hillary Clinton, on a visit to Asia, told reporters that the secretive regime "has no friends left" to block denuclearization, after earlier in the week comparing Kim Jong-Il's coterie to "small children and... More »

Clinton Voices Concern Over Burma-N. Korea Arms Links

Secretary of state will push ASEAN for tough enforcement of N.Korea sanctions

(Newser) - Hillary Clinton is concerned about possible military cooperation between Myanmar and North Korea, the New York Times reports. In Thailand on the eve of the ASEAN conference, the secretary of state told her hosts that their country would be particularly vulnerable to a pernicious relationship between the two dictatorships. Clinton... More »

Asian Leaders Condemn Suu Kyi Trial

Nobel Peace Prize-winners label pro-democracy leader's trial 'a mockery'

(Newser) - The trial of Aung San Suu Kyi drew unusually strong condemnation from Asian leaders as it entered its second day today, the BBC reports. A statement from the ASEAN bloc urged Burma's ruling military junta to ensure the ailing 63-year-old was given proper medical care, repeated a call for her... More »

Asia Unites Against Swine Flu Threat

Health ministers from 13 countries pledge increased cooperation

(Newser) - Health chiefs from 13 Asian countries met in Bangkok yesterday to hammer out a unified response to the H1N1 virus, Reuters reports. The ministers pledged to step up cross-border cooperation, establish joint response teams, and share essential supplies. A statement called for Asia to establish the capacity to produce vaccines,... More »

Thailand Cancels Summit, Declares Emergency

(Newser) - Anti-government protesters stormed a building where leaders of Asian nations were to meet today, prompting Thailand's government to cancel the summit and declare a state of emergency in the seaside city that was to host it. More than 1,000 protesters smashed through the convention center's glass doors and ran... More »

Thai Protesters Disrupt Asian Summit

Demonstrators want to show world the flaws in their government

(Newser) - Hundreds of demonstrators in the Thai tourist town of Pattaya blocked the entrance to the building hosting an East Asian summit meeting today, giving foreign leaders a firsthand look at the country’s political schism. Economic concerns weighed heavily with the protesters, most supporters of ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra; one... More »

World Toes Junta's Line as Burmese Die

Dictators don't want you to think about the victims, and media is helping

(Newser) - The leaders of the Burmese junta don’t want you to think about the victims of Cyclone Nargis, writes Tom Jenkins for the Guardian, and the world and the media are only too happy to oblige. The Chinese government’s heroics in Asia's other natural disaster focuses attention on victims... More »

Burma Relents on Foreign Docs, Aid Workers

But only from ASEAN member nations

(Newser) - Two and a half weeks after cyclone Nargis hit, Burma finally agreed today to allow foreign medics and disaster experts into the battered country, reports the BBC—but only from ASEAN member nations. UN chief Ban Ki-Moon also plans to jet to Burma on Wednesday to bring additional pressure to... More »

How the World Dropped the Ball on Burma

And how we can pick it back up

(Newser) - International policy on Myanmar is at an impasse because the world went two different ways on the military junta—the US chose isolation while its neighbors chose constructive engagement—and both strategies failed. The country has gone from “antidemocratic embarrassment and humanitarian disaster” to “serious threat” to security,... More »

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