Asia watch

All eyes on Asean Summit, US polls

The #TruthNeverDies campaign begins tomorrow to raise awareness about the dangers that journalists face and the growing impunity for crimes against them. The campaign comes after the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Sau
The #TruthNeverDies campaign begins tomorrow to raise awareness about the dangers that journalists face and the growing impunity for crimes against them. The campaign comes after the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.PHOTO: REUTERS

A busy November awaits avid observers of global affairs. Take a look.

Global campaign for journalists

A #TruthNeverDies campaign begins around the world tomorrow to raise awareness about the dangers that journalists face and the growing impunity for crimes against them, initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

The annual campaign comes after the mysterious death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. A Unesco statement said that more than a thousand journalists have lost their lives in the line of duty between 2006 and last year.

New Delhi's military diplomacy

India begins military exercises with its strategic partners Japan, Russia and the United States this month, which is to be followed by the resumption of combat drills with China next month.

Malaysia's Budget 2019

Malaysian Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng will table his government's Budget 2019 tomorrow.

The Star daily said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has assured investors that the new measures will not be detrimental to their businesses.

Pakistan PM in China

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan visits China from Nov 3 to Nov 5 to discuss strategic ties, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and possibly new loans. Mr Khan's visit comes ahead of a visit by International Monetary Fund officials to his country on Nov 7.

Midterm polls in the US

Asian countries will be observing the US midterm polls, due on Nov 6, which have traditionally been seen as a referendum on the US President's policies.

The results will give a sense of how Americans view President Donald Trump's unconventional governance and the likely consequences this may have on his foreign policy.

All 435 seats of the House of Representatives are up for re-election and contests will take place in a third of the Senate.

At the same time, 36 states will each elect a new governor on Nov 6.

Tighter investment rules in US

More stringent foreign investment rules by the US take effect on Nov 10 in a move seen as aimed at China. The 27 industries that will have tightened US rules include telecommunications and semiconductors. Other sectors are aircraft manufacturing, aluminium production, computer storage devices, guided missiles and other military equipment, Reuters reported.

Asean leaders meet

Asean leaders will gather in Singapore for the 33rd Asean Summit from Nov 11 to Nov 15, where issues facing the group of 10 South-east Asian economies will be discussed.

One of the key issues will be regional economic integration, given expectations that Asean will be the world's fourth-largest economy by 2030.

Addressing the 50th Asean Economic Ministers Meeting in August, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said that an open and economically integrated Asean will be more attractive to other economies.

The conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership trade agreement and bolstering cyber security across the region are expected to figure in discussions.

Asean will hold summits with China, Japan, South Korea, Russia and the US.

At the same time, the Asean Plus Three Summit and the East Asia Summit will take place. At the end of the meetings, Singapore will hand over the rotating Asean chairmanship to Thailand.

Alibaba shopping festival

It will be the 10th anniversary of its Nov 11 shopping festival and Alibaba aims to make it the biggest ever. More than 180,000 brands from China and overseas will participate in the event.

US-Japan bilateral talks

US Vice-President Mike Pence is due to travel to Japan for the third round of a bilateral economic dialogue with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his deputy, Mr Taro Aso.

Besides trade, North Korea is expected to figure in the discussions.

Trump, Xi meet at G-20

All eyes will be on a meeting between Mr Trump and China's President Xi Jinping on Nov 30 at the Group of 20 meeting in Buenos Aires from Nov 30 to Dec 1.

The meeting comes amid an intensifying trade conflict, although there is no indication yet that there could be a breakthrough.


 • Asia Watch is a monthly feature on happenings around the world of interest to the region, published in The Straits Times on the first weekday of the month.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 01, 2018, with the headline 'All eyes on Asean Summit, US polls'. Print Edition | Subscribe