Commentary: Umesh Pandey
Asean leaders met in Brunei late last week and there was some very positive news flowing out of their meetings. Longtime observers of these affairs might find that unbelievable, knowing well enough that these events are usually short on substance but long on good food and mingling by the bigshots who attend.
Various issues were discussed in Brunei and it is not surprising that the contentious issue of the South China Sea was one of the topics that received an extensive airing, although no breakthrough can be expected on this issue unless Big Brother from Beijing agrees to play. But the fact that members agreed to approach China for talks is a positive development.
What was more interesting, however, was the leak of an internal document that showed the region is making progress on integration far beyond what most people were expecting.
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