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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        4  June 2011

Najib: Asian countries shouldn't choose

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Asia countries shouldn't have to choose between being allies of the US or China and must avoid another Cold War-style polarisation in the region, Malaysia's prime minister said on Friday.

Asia should foster cooperation between the US, the world's military superpower, and emerging power China in order to tackle regional security problems such as human trafficking, terrorism, drug smuggling and nuclear proliferation, Najib Razak said in Singapore at the IISS Shangri-La Dialogue, a regional security conference.

'China is our partner and the US is also our partner,' Mr Najib said in a speech. 'It's not about taking sides.'

'We must replace the old bilateralism of the Cold War, not with a new bilateralism, but with a multilateralism that can rise to the task ahead.'

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates met on Friday in Singapore with his Chinese counterpart, General Liang Guanglie, amid recent signs of warming relations between the two countries.

China's army chief of staff met with top US military officials last month in Washington, and China for the first time chose to send its defence minister to the Singapore conference, now in its 10th year.

Mr. Gates will deliver a speech on Saturday while Gen Liang will address the conference on Sunday.


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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

 

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