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ASEAN Summit should not deviate from the theme due to anxiety

(People's Daily Online)

14:06, November 22, 2012

One of the most fundamental objectives for ASEAN countries is to build an Economic Community in 2015. But driven by external forces and regional differences, the summit has dangerously lost the focus on this goal.

At the East Asia Summit on Nov. 19, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda called for the unison of all countries that spat with China over the South China Sea issue to resort to international laws.

In Phnom Penh, Philippine President Benigno Aquino III is touting his six principles for the maintenance of regional peace and stability in the so-called “West Philippine Sea (South China Sea)".

U.S. President Barack Obama's trip to Southeast Asia media has been interpreted by many as Asia becoming the axis of American diplomacy. Obama chose Egypt as the destination of his first official visit in his previous term, but the fanatical wave of anti-Americanism in the Islamic world made Obama's Nobel Peace Prize lose all countenance.

These actions of the leaders of the United States, Japan, and the Philippines reflect the restlessness caused by China's huge increase in political and economic strength. The East Asia region is looking at China with ambivalent love and fear. The United States and Japan is trying to take advantage of such ambivalent psychology to stealthily substitute political issues for economic issues, thus containing China's rise.

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