Trailer for Taiwan Tensions at ASEAN Summit

The ASEAN ministerial meeting in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, witnessed heightened tensions when the Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, walked out before the start of the gala dinner. This comes amid strained relations between China and Taiwan following US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei. Yee was seen leaving in a car from where External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met US Secretary of State Antony Blanken.

Wang Yi waved to the media as he entered a holding room for dinner and then walked out of the venue without giving a reason. Reuters Two eyewitnesses working at the news agency told the news agency that Wang Yi was seen getting into a car. The dinner was attended by more than a dozen Foreign Ministers Blankenship, Japan’s Yoshimasa Hayashi and senior diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Ahead of the gala dinner, Jaishankar said there was “strong synergy” between India and the 10-nation grouping of ASEAN on the Indo-Pacific, countering the threat of terrorism and developments in Ukraine and Myanmar. He added that India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) also share common views on connectivity projects, dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic and issues related to cyber security.

The foreign minister made this comment after attending the India-ASEAN ministerial meeting.

In another tweet, Jaishankar identified the digital domain, health, agriculture, education and green development as the areas that drive partnership between the two sides. Digital, health, agriculture education and green development will drive our partnership. Act East comes out gradually,” he said.

Blanken said that according to the US State Department, the US and India are strong supporters of ASEAN’s centrality in the Indo-Pacific. “We are both strong supporters of the centrality of ASEAN. We have a shared vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific that we work towards every single day in many different ways,” Blanken said.

“And of course, we have some immediate challenges that we are both concerned about, including the situation in Sri Lanka, Burma, and a number of other hot spots,” he said. “So I’m really looking forward to being able to go through a bunch of these issues with my friend again, and then we’ll both go to our meetings.”

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan is India’s Country Coordinator in ASEAN. It is learned that the Indo-ASEAN foreign ministers’ talks focused on overall developments in the Indo-Pacific region and ways to further expand ties in the backdrop of geopolitical developments including the Ukraine crisis.

The foreign ministers also discussed the situation in the South China Sea, a resource-rich region that is seeing growing Chinese muscle. It is learned that the meeting also emphasized the need to follow the principles of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in the South China Sea region.

ASEAN is considered one of the most influential groupings in the region. India and many other countries including the US, China, Japan and Australia are its dialogue partners. ASEAN-India dialogue relations began in 1992 with the establishment of a Sectoral Partnership. It graduated to a full dialogue partnership in December 1995 and a summit-level partnership in 2002.

The relationship was upgraded to a strategic partnership in 2012. ASEAN is central to India’s Act East policy and its vision for the wider Indo-Pacific. ASEAN includes Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Brunei, Philippines, Singapore, Cambodia, Malaysia and Myanmar. In June, India hosted a special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi to mark the 30th anniversary of its relationship with the grouping.

The meeting in Phnom Penh highlighted the progress of Sri Lanka and Myanmar. Last month, Sri Lanka saw a large-scale political crisis after mass protests forced President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to leave the country. Veteran leader Ranil Wickremesinghe was sworn in as Sri Lanka’s new president, amid hopes of a recovery from the economic downturn.

Western powers were angered by Myanmar’s military government’s execution of four pro-democracy activists last month.

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