Asean’s security and China ties among the issues
Published on: Thursday, May 18, 1978

DAILY EXPRESS (Thursday, May 18, 1978) - Our Prime Minister and Indonesia’s President – Datuk Hussein Onn and General Suharto – are meeting at Labuan for consultation on problems confronting Southeast Asia. It is a tradition for leaders of Malaysia and Indonesia to hold informal meetings in the quest for mutual understanding and to further promote the existing friendship. It is also the Asean leaders’ tradition to hold informal meetings, besides their regular summit, to exchange views and ideas for mutual benefit for the peoples in the region. 

A major topic of discussion is expected to be the security needed for the orderly, economic development of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand — forming the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean). It had been discussed in their previous meeting last year at Malaysia’s resort island of Penang. The two leaders are also expected to discuss military cooperation between their two countries along the common border. 

Another topic likely to come up for discussion is Indonesia’s decision to resume diplomatic relations with China. Indonesia and Singapore are the two Asean member nations who have yet to establish diplomatic relations with Peking. 

President Suharto and Datuk Hussein Onn are also likely to talk about the question of Malaysia using Indonesia’s satellite communications system, an idea which the Indonesian leader proposed at the Penang meeting. Asean cooperation is expected to feature prominently in the talks. It is a fact that Asean exists to “serve the interests of all of Southeast Asia.” 

Countries in the region are facing a common destiny. We, believe, in the Asean spirit, the partnership in peace and prosperity, the Suharto-Hussein talks will be successful and fruitful. 


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