Seven Asean members skip summit with US after Trump misses Bangkok meet

Topics ASEAN | ASEAN summit

From left, Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Thailand Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah prepare at ASEAN Plus Three summit in Thailand | PTI

Seven out of the 10 leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were noticeably absent at the ASEAN-US summit in Bangkok at which a Washington representative read out an invitation from President Donald Trump to visit the United States for a separate "special summit."

The move comes after top US leadership skipped the ASEAN Leaders Summit and the East Asian Summit held from November 2-4 in the Thai capital, with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo all absent.

Three ASEAN leaders attended the summit, which took place in the morning before the East Asian summit: the Prime Ministers of Thailand, chairing the ASEAN this year, Vietnam and Laos. The remaining countries of the bloc - Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines were represented by foreign ministers.

US National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien kicked off proceedings by reading a letter from Trump inviting the ASEAN leaders to a "special summit" in the US. He was followed by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross who announced that a total of 19 ambassadors and eight department secretaries were present at the conference.

Bangkok is hosting the 35th ASEAN Summit from October 31 to November 4. The East Asia Summit is held on the last day, with the 10 ASEAN members joined by eight more counties - Russia, Australia, India, China, South Korea, New Zealand, the United States and Japan.

The ASEAN Summit has transformed into one of the most important regional economic and political events as the 10 Southeast Asian nations have experienced prolonged relative peace and steady rise in economic prosperity in the 21st Century as well as control of critical chokepoints in global maritime trade.



Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel