Asean Summit: Leaders gather for 'the biggest game in town'

East Asia Summit taking place as three developments cause deep concern

The Straits Times' associate editor Ravi Velloor talks about the significance of this year's East Asia Summit and the potential issues to be tackled.

At the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Vientiane two years ago, then UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon brought up the subject of extra-judicial killings in the region. It was the equivalent of waving a red flag in the face of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Putting aside his notes and loosening his tongue, the Philippine leader charged like a bull, savaging Mr Ban and US President Barack Obama with his words. Shocked and dismayed, Philippine officials in the room studied their shoes with extra care.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2018, with the headline 'Leaders gather for 'the biggest game in town''. Print Edition | Subscribe