East Asian leaders discuss future cooperation, challenges
NAY PYI TAW -- Leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its partner countries met in the Myanmar capital Thursday to discuss future cooperation and ways to tackle challenges to the whole region.
At the Ninth East Asia Summit (EAS) held on the sidelines of an ASEAN summit, the leaders stressed the importance of EAS cooperation, ASEAN's centrality, traditional and non-traditional challenges to peace and stability of the region, regional integration and people-to-people contact.
They also exchanged views on the process of EAS cooperation, future cooperation in enhancing the EAS, non-traditional security issues, climate change, disaster management and pandemic diseases, according to a statement released after the meeting.
The EAS drew leaders from 18 countries, including 10 ASEAN member states and six dialogue partners - China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand as well as the United States and Russia as new comers.
Since its inception in 2005, the EAS has served as a forum for dialogue on broad strategic issues related to East Asia as well as other regional and global issues.