The Philippines prepares to host the 2017 ASEAN Summit

Government and police are heightening security before the arrival of world leaders

Philippine police prepare for the ASEAN 2017 Summit (By Associated Press)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Many important political events are planned for this week in Asia, with Trump's Asian tour, and the APEC Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, which will be followed directly by the ASEAN Summit in the Philippines.

The Philippines will be hosting the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila from with the main summit beginning on Nov. 10. This year on Nov. 12, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding. The summit will be presided over by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

On Nov. 13 the ASEAN – US Summit will take place with US President Donald Trump in attendance. Finally on Nov. 14 the East Asia Summit (EAS) will take place.

President Trump was originally planning to depart the Philippines after the ASEAN – US Summit, but recently announced he would be extending his stay in the Philippines by an extra day. Originally, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was scheduled to represent the US at the EAS.
 

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte

President of the Philippines Rodrigo Duterte (Image: AP Photo)

The President of the Philippines expressed happiness at the decision of the US President to extend his stay. A bilateral meeting between President Duterte and President Trump is planned for Nov. 13, and with Trump's extended itinerary, the meeting will likely be more relaxed.

President Trump and President Duterte will actually be meeting for the first time several days earlier at the APEC Summit in Vietnam, before they both fly to the Philippines for the ASEAN Summit.

The Philippines government has expressed caution and a need to heighten security measures ahead of the ASEAN Summit. The Department of Information and Communications Technology confirmed that they are investigating possible hacking attempts by North Korean agents with the aim of compromising some of the ASEAN Summit proceedings.

There is also concern, as reported by CNN, that North Korea may be preparing for another missile test this week. The ASEAN Summit would be a critical target. The Philippine military as well as US forces in the region are likely to be on high alert.

The government of the Philippines will also be under some pressure to present a stable domestic situation to the visiting world leaders, since the Philippine armed forces were dealing with unrest on the southern city of Marawi, on Mindanao Island from late May 2017 through the Summer. The government declared that the military conflict in Marawi was successfully resolved on October 23.

ASEAN 2017 logo

ASEAN 2017 Summit official logo

Some important issues to be addressed at this year's summit will be the developing nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the spread of Islamic extremism in Southeast Asia, as well as the worsening humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

President Duterte is expected to urge regional leaders to improve their efforts to better monitor and control their borders. He will likely hold discussions with Indonesia and Malaysia in particular, which many in the Philippines blame for permitting a flow of extremists into the South of the country.

ASEAN leaders as well as China are also expected to begin formal negotiations on a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea, a politically contentious region that has given rise to numerous territorial disputes between China and ASEAN countries.