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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        6  June 2011

Malaysia pushes for multilateral talks

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Malaysia has proposed the setting up of a special purpose vehicle for the sharing of economic activities among the countries involved in disputed territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had suggested that the countries concerned create multilateral discussions rather than bilateral talks.

"If we may translate the suggestion, we would like to explore the natural resources, in particular hydrocarbon, to be shared among the claimant countries.

"A special purpose vehicle can be created to share not only in terms of equity participation but also in terms of sharing the exploration of the natural resources," he said at the question-and-answer session on the final day of the 10th IISS Asia Security Summit - The Shangri-La Dialogue, here, Sunday.

Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have a stake on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Of these countries, only Brunei lacks a military presence in the area.

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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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