Duterte defends need to 'power nap' after summit no-shows

India,China,trade deal

THE much-awaited finalisation of the Asean-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will not materialise by the end of 2018 as initially hoped, confirmed Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his opening remarks at the 2nd RCEP Summit on Wednesday.

Philippine Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, in a statement on Tuesday, said negotiations had "progressed substantially" and "reached the final stage".

The statement comes after US-China bilateral talks where Chinese officials asked Washington to stop sending vessels and military aircraft close to Chinese islands and reefs and "stop actions that undermine China's sovereignty and security interests".

Chinese leaders are busy burnishing their own free trade credentials as they speak out against Trump's efforts to get Beijing to change policies aimed at making Chinese industries leaders in advanced technologies.

World leaders will push for the rapid completion of a massive, China-backed trade deal that excludes the USA at a summit this week, in a rebuke to rising protectionism and Donald Trump's "America First" agenda.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has skipped several meetings at an worldwide summit in favour of "power naps", prompting his office to issue a statement denying speculation that the 73-year-old is suffering to ill health.

RCEP is often seen as a rival to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a vast regional pact once led by the U.S. that Trump withdrew from early in his presidency.

The remaining 11 countries are preparing to inaugurate the revised trade deal, the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership, following Australia's ratification earlier this month.

The RCEP is of great importance to preserving free trade and economic globalization, in which the World Trade Organization plays a central role, Li said.

New Zealand fight back from 15-0 down to edge out England
In an ominous warning to England , Hansen has revealed that his world champions are looking to make a statement at Twickenham. He added: "To be here and play a team like England is a great opportunity for a footy team and a footy player.

"We made significant progress", New Zealand minister of state for trade and export growth Damien O'Connor told reporters after talks late Monday, but added delegates were "hopefully ready for conclusion next year".

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is in Singapore to give impetus to the deal on the sidelines of a gathering of Southeast Asian and world leaders.

Indian Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu said the future "lies in RCEP", but urged a caution and patience to ensure "every country will benefit from it".

A fast-urbanising and aging region of 630 million people, ASEAN is destined to become the world's fourth biggest economy by 2030, after the US, China and the European Union.

The two sides also pledged to advance the building of a new land-sea transport corridor, which consists of a number of railway and sea trade routes, connecting central and southwest China to Southeast Asia.

The signing took place amid the 33rd ASEAN Summit and other related summits that will take place in Singapore until Thursday.

In his maiden speech on the Asean platform after 15 years, the prime minister said what the regional grouping requires is a fair and mutually beneficial trade and investment cooperation that benefits countries of widely varying levels.

The Asean summit, which formally opens on Tuesday afternoon, is expected to sweep in trade, maritime disputes and the Rohingya crisis.

Related News:

Most liked

Turkey, France spar over Khashoggi killing
Media reports have suggested that his body could have been chemically dissolved. Le Drian added that Erdogan risked turning the case into a "political game".

Nets' Caris LeVert won't need surgery, expected to return this season
A replay of the fall shows LeVert landing and bending his lower leg, but the extent of his injury has yet to be discerned. He went up to block Jeff Teague on a shot near the net and landed wrong on his right leg as it twisted in a gruesome way.

Northern Ireland leaders give cautious welcome to Brexit deal
The deal is not yet finalised, but with the alternative of a "No Deal" hard to countenance, it's unlikely to be thrown out. A sticking point in talks has been Britain's insistence that any such customs arrangement must be temporary.

Deepika and Ranveer officially engaged in traditional Konkani ceremony at Lake Como
They're expected to host two receptions- one in Mumbai for industry friends and the other one in Bengaluru, Deepika's hometown. Designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee has designed their wedding trousseau, here are some more details you would like to know.

Houston Rockets considering cutting Carmelo Anthony, though GM calls reports 'unfair'
The 34-year-old has averaged a career-low 13.4 points per game, and that's not only because of his limited minutes. We're not playing well and we just gotta figure it out.

No. 4 Duke pulls away from Army
He played for the basketball team and later coached the Black Knights. Duke got something from Army that it didn't against Kentucky: A test.

Ex-farm supervisor charged over Australia strawberry sabotage
Funds will also be given to the Queensland Strawberry Growers Association and Growcom to distribute to affected farmers. Queensland police released few details in their arrest announcement on Sunday and did not speculate on a motive.

Strong winds challenging California firefighters
Los Angeles firefighters have been battling to control the intense wildfires which have reportedly taken the lives of 31 people. It has consumed around 83,000 acres, destroyed at least 177 buildings and was 10 per cent contained, Cal Fire said Sunday.

Mattis Supports Riyadh's Refusal of US Refuelling of Coalition Aircraft in Yemen
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis confirmed that the decision to stop refueling was taken in consultation with the USA government. The United Nations has since pushed that deadline back to the end of the year.

Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku set to miss out on Manchester derby
Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku has missed United's past two matches with a muscle problem, but could return against City. United manager Mourinho declined to answer in depth when asked if he thought about the allegations against City.

Saints place Dez Bryant on injured reserve
Bryant's reaction was muted, referring to the injury as "the ultimate test". "It was good", Bryant said after his first practice. It was a rough Friday for the New Orleans Saints and their new free-agent signing, wide receiver Dez Bryant .

Meg Ryan & John Mellencamp Are Officially Engaged!
There was a rumor earlier this year that Meg and John had tied the knot, but Ryan's rep told EOnline.com it wasn't true. He spoke about her during an interview in Sirius XM's The Howard Stern Show , saying, " Meg is an angel".

How to enable Dark Mode on your Android smartphone
In Night Mode at max brightness, however, the Pixel's draw drops 63 percent to 92mA, while the iPhone stays the same. Thus, with an AMOLED screen, a black color simply means that none of the red, green or blue pixels are turned on.

Wayne Rooney ‘set for late cameo on England return’
During today's squad announcement, Gareth Southgate said that England should show more appreciation for their past stars. Rooney has scored 53 global goals and made his last England appearance in a 3-0 victory over Scotland in November 2016.

Trump says Macron’s call for European Army ‘very insulting’
He will attend the Paris Peace Forum being held to commemorate the centenary of the end to the First World War. The moment Air Force One touched down Friday at Orly airport, U.S.