Indonesia set to free Bali Nine drug smuggler Lawrence

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AFP) — Indonesia is expected to release the only female member of the “Bali Nine” heroin-trafficking gang from prison on Wednesday after serving 13 years in a case that caused a diplomatic furore. Australian Renae Lawrence, 41, was arrested in 2005 when authorities caught her with 2.6 kilograms (5.7 pounds) of heroin strapped to her body as she tried to fly out of the international airport on the holiday island of Bali. She […]

ASEAN, China agree on self-restraint, value of freedom of navigation and overflight in South China Sea, says President Duterte

  (Eagle News) – President Rodrigo Duterte reaffirmed ASEAN and China’s shared commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea, as he stressed that both ASEAN and China had agreed on the value of self-restraint, and freedom of navigationa and overflight in the disputed South China Sea. “President Duterte reiterated the need to maintain and promote peace, stability, security, safety, and freedom of […]

APEC leaders divided after US, China spat

  by Andrew Beatty / Ayee Macaraig Agence France Presse PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — Asia-Pacific leaders failed Sunday to bridge gaping divisions over trade at a summit dominated by a war of words between the US and China as they vie for regional influence. For the first time, APEC leaders were unable to agree on a formal written declaration amid sharp differences between the world’s top two economies over the rules of […]

US, China in APEC cruise ship clash on trade, influence

  by Andrew Beatty and Richard Carter Agence France Presse PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — China and the US crossed swords Saturday ahead of an APEC summit, duelling over protectionism, trade tariffs and “chequebook diplomacy” as they laid out sharply contrasting visions for the Pacific Rim region. In combative back-to-back speeches at a business forum held on a hulking cruise ship moored in Port Moresby, Xi Jinping and US Vice President Mike Pence […]

Boracay rehab takes spotlight at 2018 East Asian Seas Congress

  The highly touted efforts to rehabilitate the world-famous Boracay Island take center stage as the Philippines hosts the 2018 East Asian Seas Congress in Iloilo City on November 27-30. Organized by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Partnerships in Environmental Management of the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA), the four-day congress will bring together international organizations, experts and multi-sector stakeholders to exchange knowledge and build capacity towards sustainable management and […]

APEC summit host urges respect for trade rules

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — The leader of Papua New Guinea, host of this year’s APEC summit, Friday urged respect for international trade rules by “countries large and small” as spats between the US and China threatened to overshadow the gathering. As leaders from Asian Pacific nations prepared to fly in to Port Moresby for their annual meeting, Prime Minister Peter O’Neill appeared to call his guests to order on damaging trade rows. […]

Thais take ASEAN chair, haunted by past summit chaos

by Martin Abbugao and Jerome Taylor Agence France-Presse SINGAPORE (AFP) — Protests, broken windows and dignitaries forced to flee by helicopter — Thailand’s last stint as host of Southeast Asia’s biggest summit was devoured by political chaos. But as the chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) passed Thursday from Singapore to Thailand, Bangkok is hoping unrest will not spoil its year in the spotlight. The annual ASEAN summit has become a major […]

Xi arrives in Papua New Guinea ahead of APEC summit

PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (AFP) — President Xi Jinping arrived in Papua New Guinea on Thursday for a much-vaunted state visit ahead of an Asia-Pacific summit he is expected to dominate. Xi touched down in Port Moresby, where he was greeted on the tarmac by tribesmen and women in traditional attire, complete with feather headdresses. With US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin skipping the APEC leaders meeting in Port Moresby on […]

Pangilinan: Asean-China talks on territorial dispute should be anchored on respect

(Eagle News) — Talks for the creation of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea should be anchored on “respect,” Senator Kiko Pangilinan said on Thursday, Nov. 15. “Respect. For oneself, for who you’re talking to, for your countrymen, for the environment. That should be the basis of any Asean-China talks on the Code of Conduct in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea,” Pangilinan said in a statement. According to Pangilinan, […]

Locsin defends Duterte’s absence in some ASEAN meetings

(Eagle News) — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. on Thursday, said President Rodrigo Duterte’s absence in some Association of Southeast Asian Nations events does not reflect badly on the Philippines, and did not represent a “missed opportunity” for the country. “Absolutely it doesn’t. I can tell you. I’ve seen different leaders stand up and leave, including the chairman, and it doesn’t reflect badly. Their ministers of foreign affairs sit down,” he said in a […]

US urges sustained sanctions pressure on N. Korea

by Sam Reeves SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday took America’s “pressure campaign” against North Korea to a summit of world leaders, as concerns mount over Pyongyang’s key allies easing sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a historic summit in Singapore earlier this year, signing a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation. But there has been little progress since, with […]