09/07/2023, 13.37
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Asean excludes Myanmar from the 2026 presidency. Cooperation with the US and China

by Mathias Hariyadi

The 43rd summit of South East Asian countries closes today in Jakarta. The decision a response to the Burmese military coup and violence since February 2021. The US Vice-President and the Chinese Premier also attended, as well as state and government leaders. By 2045, the region will contribute 5.4% to global GDP. Jokowi: trust and cooperation.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) - Myanmar will not assume the rotating presidency of the regional bloc in 2026, as foreseen by the natural rotation among member countries. This is the most important news, at least on a "political" level, which emerged at the conclusion of the 43rd ASEAN summit (an association that brings together 10 South-East Asian nations) scheduled for 5 to 7 September in Jakarta, Indonesia, and which closes today.

The basis for the decision, among the first acts taken by the member states at the opening of the meeting, was the violence and abuses perpetrated by the Burmese junta since the February 2021 coup.

In place of Naypyidaw, the Philippines will take over the leadership of the bloc according to an annual presidency criterion that follows the alphabetical order in English of the names of the member countries.

Speaking yesterday at the official inauguration ceremony, the Indonesian president and current leader of the group, Joko Widodo spoke of "mutual trust" which allows the countries of the group to "implement concrete and mutually beneficial cooperation".

This trust "must be built and maintained on all sides" starting from "respect for international law" he continued. Addressing Chinese premier Li Qiang, Jokowi present as official representative of Beijing, Widodo confirmed that China is a "strategic partner" of the ASEAN bloc, in the twentieth anniversary of the official relations formalized in the friendship and cooperation agreement.

The Indonesian president went on to say that it is necessary to transform this relationship into a "concrete and advantageous cooperation" only if the various countries are able to trust "one another" and for this the commitment "of all parties" is needed.

The 43rd ASEAN summit was also attended by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, US Vice-President Kemala Haris, Australian Prime Minister Anthony N. Albanese and Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau. Addressing those present, the Indonesian head of state confirmed how collaboration with Washington - among others - will be a factor of stabilization and prosperity for the entire Indo-Pacific region.

According to forecasts, relaunched by Jokowi, by 2045 Southeast Asia will be the backbone of international trade and will contribute 5.4% of global GDP, provided that the security and stability of the region itself are guaranteed.

Words welcomed and relaunched by Vice-President Harris, who underlined the "lasting commitment" made by the United States towards South-East Asia and the region more generally, with which it shares "historical ties and common values".

After all, the trade flow between the two blocks is already a guarantee of over 600,000 jobs in the US alone and, looking ahead, presents many "growth opportunities".

Finally, the United States and the ASEAN bloc reaffirmed cooperation on defense, security and stability for an "open, interconnected, prosperous, secure and resilient" region, concluded Harris.

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