The United States has postponed a special summit of leaders of Southeast Asian countries (ASEAN) amid growing havoc on the coronavirus. A senior Voice of America official said that the international community is working together to defeat the novel coronavirus. He said that the US has taken a difficult decision to postpone the meeting of ASEAN leaders with ASEAN allies which was scheduled in mid-March.
US President Donald Trump invited 10-member ASEAN leaders to a meeting in the US this year. He could not attend the ASEAN annual meeting held in Thailand last year.
The official said that the United States values our relations with the nations of this important region and looks forward to future meetings. The summit was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas in the second week of March. In addition, bilateral meetings were planned between US President Donald Trump and leaders of ASEAN countries.
At the postponement of the ASEAN summit, President of the US-ASEAN Business Council, Elizabeth Dugan, stated that the US business community is concerned with Indo-Pacific strategy for ASEAN leaders and for the US government. Dugan said the organization looks forward to working closely with the US and ASEAN leadership to ensure the success of this important relationship at a later date.
Explain that due to the increasing outbreak of Coronavirus many international programs have been canceled worldwide. So far 2,835 people have lost their lives in China with coronavirus and more than 84,500 people have been infected with the virus worldwide. Coronavirus has spread to over 50 countries including the US, UK, Singapore, Italy, France, Russia, Spain and India.
Know why this organization is made and what it does
The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on August 8, 1967 by five countries in Southeast Asia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand to strengthen cultural ties with economic-social development. Not only has this organization grown in size during the last 50 years, but its influence has also increased in international politics. Brunai, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Laos have grown to 10 member countries.
At the meeting held in Thailand during the Asian Economic Crisis of 1977, a forum called ASEAN Plus was formed, combining China, Japan and South Korea in this organization. Later, India, New Zealand and Australia were also included under the banner of East Asia Summit. This is how the platform called ASEAN Plus came into existence. In 2011, at the Sixth East Asia Summit, the US and Russia were included in it, further expanding ASEAN.
World’s sixth largest economy
The ASEAN countries have an area of 44 lakh square kilometers, which is three percent of the Earth’s area. The total population of its member countries is 64 crores which is 8.8 percent of the total population of the world. According to the data of 2015, the combined GDP of these countries is $ 2.8 trillion. In this sense, it is the largest economy after America, China, Japan, France, and Germany.