ASEAN Defense Chief Fails to Reach Consensus over South China Sea Dispute

ASEAN Defense Chief Fails to Reach Consensus over South China Sea Dispute
Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

What you need to know

The ASEAN defense forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has failed to sign a joint declaration due to the lack of consensus among the attending countries. An US official says it's because the US and China have differences over mentioning the South China Sea dispute in the declaration. On the other hand, China pointed out that the failure was due to certain Southeast Asian countries leaning towards Japan and the US.

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Singapore: Singapore Ranks 12 in Global Consumer Confidence Report

According to Nielsen’s report, Singaporean consumers confidence index has reached 101 points, higher than the global average of 99 points. Singapore ranked 12th in the global consumer confidence index, which is two ranks higher than the previous quarter.

Nelson says that tourism and new technology products are Singaporean consumers’ major consumption. Even though Singaporean market appears to have been weakened, people in Singapore still feel optimistic about the economic stability.

Their biggest concerns include economic prospects (31%) and job stability (30%), along with other factors, such as the balance between work and life (21%), health (21%) and increase in food prices (18%).

In addition, the consumers’ confidence in India ranked first in the world, while the US experienced the largest increase. As for Europe, two-thirds of EU countries’ confidence index has increased. The South Korean consumers appear to be the most pessimistic with a confidence index of only 49 points and Taiwan’s confidence index dropped 12 points.

Photo Credit: Reuters/達志影像

Photo Credit: Reuters

Malaysia: No Joint Declaration Signed in the ASEAN Defence Forum Due to Conflict between China and the US

The ASEAN defense forum held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia has failed to sign a joint declaration due to the lack of consensus among the attending countries. An US official says it’s because the US and China have differences over mentioning the South China Sea dispute in the declaration. On the other hand, China pointed out that the failure was due to certain Southeast Asian countries leaning towards Japan and the US.

The host of the forum, Malaysian Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein, announced the cancellation of signing the joint declaration. He admitted that the delegates mentioned the South China Sea dispute during the conference, but they believed signing the joint declaration would not help solve the problem.

China’s Defense Ministry denounced that certain Southeast Asian countries have collaborated with Japan and the US, attempting to write down things in the declaration that were not discussed in the conference, straying from the original principles of the conference. US officials revealed that China was opposed to mentioning its man-made islands in the South China Sea in the declaration.

Recently, the US army sent the guided-missile destroyer USS Lassen to the South China Sea, patrolling near the islands claimed by China and creating tension in the South China Sea again. During this sensitive time, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Hishammuddin boarded the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on November 4, but US officials did not say where it would be heading during Carter’s visit.

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Photo Credit: AP

Indonesia: Airports in Bali Shut Down after Mount Rinjani Erupts

Thousands of tourists were stranded in airports after ash from Mount Rinjani on Lombok Island blasted ash and debris 3,500 meters into the air on November 3.

The closure of the airports affected a total of 692 international and domestic flights, which were either canceled or delayed from November 3 to November 5. Alongside the stranded holidaymakers, Indonesian police were also forced to delay plans to deport the Indian wanted criminal, Chhota Rajan, who was captured in Bali last week after decades on the run.

Rajan is India’s number one gang leader. He was suspected for extortion, smuggling, drug trafficking, as well as dozens of murder charges. He, along with another most wanted criminal, Dawood Ibrahim, were accused of planning the bombings in Mumbai in 1993, causing 257 deaths and injuring more than 700 people.

Photo Credit: AP/達志影像

Photo Credit: AP

Translated and compiled by Vic Chiang and Eric Wong
Edited by Olivia Yang

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