BIG POWERS STEP ASIDE, ASEAN IS MOVING TO CLEAR THE AIR

Written by Zachary Tan

On Oct 19, all ten defence ministers of the ASEAN member states signed a joint declaration at the Annual ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting to form new guidelines for a multilateral air code. Guidelines for Air Military Encounters (GAME) is set to facilitate the de-escalation of conflict between aircraft, reducing possible accidents in the skies as air traffic rises in the region. While the US and China continue to engage in their trade war, ASEAN is leading a new trade deal between 16 different countries. Known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), countries such as China, Japan and India are working to form trade deals under the helm of ASEAN. Bilateral naval military exercises are also expected to be conducted between ASEAN and the US, as well as another with China on the way. As the world is locked in a sea of economic shockwaves created by tariffs between the big powers, ASEAN continues to promote trade integration and forge new ties with its allies.

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