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East Asia Summit

East Asia Summit
Highlights

Leaders of more than a dozen countries will meet for a major summit in the Philippines in mid-November, but President Trump won’t be there. He is...

Leaders of more than a dozen countries will meet for a major summit in the Philippines in mid-November, but President Trump won’t be there. He is planning to skip it and leave the Philippines the day before. It’s a bad signal to send to the region, and it could undermine the overall goal of his Asia tour by calling American regional leadership into question.

At the White House Monday, Trump said he will “probably” be visiting the Philippines as part of his 12-day trip to Asia early next month. Trump will be in Manila Nov. 12 and 13 and will meet with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and others. But Trump will not travel the additional 52 miles to the Philippine city of Angeles on Nov. 14 for the East Asia Summit, an annual conference of Asian and world leaders that focuses on the strategic future of the region, writes the Washington Post.

The East Asia Summit is a unique Leaders-led forum of 18 countries of the Asia-Pacific region formed to further the objectives of regional peace, security and prosperity. It has evolved as a forum for strategic dialogue and cooperation on political, security and economic issues of common regional concern and plays an important role in the regional architecture.

Established in 2005, EAS allows the principal players in the Asia-Pacific region to discuss issues of common interest and concern, in an open and transparent manner, at the highest level. The membership of EAS consists of ten ASEAN Member States and Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation and the USA. EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.

The concept of an East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. The final report of the East Asian Study Group in 2002, established by the ASEAN+3 countries (i.e. China, Japan and ROK), recommended EAS as an ASEAN led development limited to the ASEAN +3 countries.

However, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) held in Vientiane on July 26, 2005 welcomed the participation of ASEAN, China, Japan, Republic of Korea, Australia, India and New Zealand, in the first EAS. USA and the Russian Federation were formally included as members of the EAS at the 6th EAS held in Bali, Indonesia on 19 November 2011.

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