Four important developments in Asia from this week and one key event to keep an eye out for next week.
ASEAN foreign ministers failed to reach common ground on the South China Sea on Friday and the regional conference ended without a joint statement for the first time in the association’s history. Analysts called it a big blow for ASEAN, but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was also in Phnom Penh for regional meetings on her trip to Asia, said it was a “sign of ASEAN’s maturity”.
The Chinese government reported on Friday that the economy grew at its weakest pace in three years.
Japanese political kingpin Ichiro Ozawa formed a new party, “People’s Livelihoods First” , aimed at overturning a proposal to double the nation’s consumption tax and threaten Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s hold on power.
The United States eased sanctions on Myanmar on Wednesday to allow U.S. businesses to begin operating there but still tightened some restrictions in recognition of transparency issues and unfinished reforms. To find out more, read CSIS’ Critical Questions here.
Next week, Australian opposition leader Tony Abbott will visit the United States and China in an attempt to boost his foreign policy credentials. In the United States, he will attend parts of the American Australian Leadership Dialogue and deliver a speech at the Heritage Foundation on the U.S.-Australia alliance.