ASEAN growing closer to China, India, Lee says

Southeast Asia faces threats from ISIS, cyberattacks, says ASEAN chair

Southeast Asia faces threats from ISIS, cyberattacks, says ASEAN chair

Moreover, the statement mentioned the current situation on the Korean Peninsula, taking into account the latest inter-Korean summit meeting on Friday and the U.S.

ASEAN now groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The plight of the Muslim Rohingya refugees from Myanmar's Rakhine state, terrorism and violent extremism, cybersecurity, and the territorial disputes in the South China Sea between four ASEAN countries, China and Taiwan also topped the agenda at the leaders' retreat during the 32nd ASEAN Summit.

The leaders also welcomed a historic summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a first step toward reducing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. "It's better than firing missiles and testing bombs".

Lee said negotiations for a code of conduct in the South China Sea had started last month between ASEAN and China, and there was hope for an early conclusion.

In the Saturday chairman's statement, ASEAN countries said the land reclamation and construction of military bases in the maritime area "have eroded trust and confidence, increased tensions and may undermine peace".

China, which claims nearly the entire South China Sea and defies a 2016 arbitration award over the disputes in favor of the Philippines, has conducted reclamation work at seven spots, including some ruled to be within Philippine territory, and fortified them with military features. "How can the 10-member ASEAN do this?"

There was also the Presidents of Indonesia, Joko Widodo; Myanmar, Win Myint; and the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte.

"But when we speak in one collective ASEAN voice, we can be effective".

The leaders signed off on a statement to boost cyber security across the region, and agreed on Singapore's proposal to set up a network of 26 smart cities across Asean.

Southeast Asia faces "very real" threats from the Islamic State (IS) group despite their defeat in Iraq and Syria, as well as cyberattacks, Singapore's Prime Minister warned on Saturday at a regional summit.

"The global strategic balance is shifting, and so is the regional balance", Lee said. Once we have reached an agreement, ASEAN member states must not discuss it any longer.

Mr. Lee warned that the open global trading system, which has allowed numerous region's export-driven economies to flourish, has come under increasing threat.

"In particular, the recent trade tensions between the USA and China are worrying concerns", Lee said as ASEAN members gather for the organization's 32nd summit.

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