Asean Summit, Malaysia on Nov 21, 1015

Asean Summit, Malaysia  on Nov 21, 1015
Asean Establishes Landmark Economic and Security Bloc
"A Summary" – Apr 2, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Religion, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Intelligent/Benevolent Design, EU, South America, 5 Currencies, Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Middle East, Internet, Israel, Dictators, Palestine, US, Japan (Quake/Tsunami Disasters , People, Society ...), Nuclear Power Revealed, Hydro Power, Geothermal Power, Moon, Financial Institutes (Recession, Realign integrity values ..) , China, North Korea, Global Unity,..... etc.) - Text version)

“….. Here is the prediction: China will turn North Korea loose soon. The alliance will dissolve, or become stale. There will be political upheaval in China. Not a coup and not a revolution. Within the inner circles of that which you call Chinese politics, there will be a re-evaluation of goals and monetary policy. Eventually, you will see a break with North Korea, allowing still another dictator to fall and unification to occur with the south. ….”

“ … Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013.

They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader ..."
"Update on Current Events" – Jul 23, 2011 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Subjects: The Humanization of God, Gaia, Shift of Human Consciousness, 2012, Benevolent Design, Financial Institutes (Recession, System to Change ...), Water Cycle (Heat up, Mini Ice Ace, Oceans, Fish, Earthquakes ..), Nuclear Power Revealed, Geothermal Power, Hydro Power, Drinking Water from Seawater, No need for Oil as Much, Middle East in Peace, Persia/Iran Uprising, Muhammad, Israel, DNA, Two Dictators to fall soon, Africa, China, (Old) Souls, Species to go, Whales to Humans, Global Unity,..... etc.)
(Subjects: Who/What is Kryon ?, Egypt Uprising, Iran/Persia Uprising, Peace in Middle East without Israel actively involved, Muhammad, "Conceptual" Youth Revolution, "Conceptual" Managed Business, Internet, Social Media, News Media, Google, Bankers, Global Unity,..... etc.)

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk

North Korean defector criticises China in rare Beijing talk
North Korean defector and activist Hyeonseo Lee, who lives in South Korea, poses as she presents her book 'The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story' in Beijing on March 26, 2016 (AFP Photo/Fred Dufour)

US under fire in global press freedom report

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

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Tuesday, March 31, 2015

'Yes, this book should be published': Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi's writings go West

People all over the world are campaigning for the release of imprisoned Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi. The first collection of his writings has just been published, and were edited by a former DW correspondent.

Deutsche Welle, 30 March 2015

 Demonstration for the release of Raif Badawi (Photo: AFP)

DW: You have just returned from Canada, where you visited Badawi's wife, Ensaf Haidar, who is in exile. Did you find out how Badawi himself is doing? Does his wife stay in touch with him regularly?

Constantin Schreiber: They remain in contact sporadically. She is usually called from the prison, mostly spur-of-the-moment, and then put through to him. That's how he finds out if there's anything new and she, of course tells, him about the worldwide acts of solidarity. He is physically and mentally in poor shape according to information last week. But he also says the international solidarity gives him renewed strength. He also knows, for example, that many people in Germany are campaigning for him - he even mentions this specifically in the foreword of his book. I think that's why he and his wife have also decided to have German publishers work on this book project.

In Arabic, only elementary forms of Badawi's writings can be found on the Internet - Saudi Arabian authorities have deleted or blocked most of them. Now there are at least publications planned in English and other languages; the German version will be the first one released. Why should German speakers, of all audiences, be interested in Badawi's ideas?

The collection of his texts will
first be released in Germany
Many of the subjects he addresses are also relevant in Germany. We now have a relatively high percentage of Muslims in the population. He is interested in how a traditional Islamic lifestyle can merge with a modern lifestyle. Another subject that interests him, in addition to women's rights and religious freedom, is progress and access to knowledge and education. He always compares with Western countries. And he clearly says: these are our shortcomings. He does not only refer to the Islamic world but he also many Muslim communities. They are issues that we are also concerned with in Germany: how do we succeed at cultural integration as equals?

All fine and good - but wouldn't an Arabic edition be more important?

Yes, from a political and social point of view, this would be absolutely desirable. The question, of course is: What reactions would it cause? The Arabic world is strongly polarized over such issues. There of course several people, like Raif Badawi, who are hoping for a liberalization of state and society. They are people who are hoping for support like this. But the overall mood is becoming all the more conservative. That means that the reactions to a book like this in Arabic would not be generally positive. That is why a publisher or editor has to ask: How close to the line of fire in such discussions can I take this book project? In many countries, publishers battled to get the license, like in France, Italy or England. Not one publisher in the Arabic world has been among them at this point.

You are the editor, and have read the book. What impressed you the most?

Constantin Schreiber met Badawi's
wife Ensaf Haidar (Photo: private)
The texts bear an unbelievably poetic force. And they are very varied. They cheerfully veer between humoristic elements and profound, analytic and complex thought processes, especially when he writes about the Arab Spring. I am also impressed by his high level of knowledge on the subjects he writes about. What is also very obvious to those who are familiar with the region and the religion, are the - at times - precise verbal attacks against Islam, when he accuses religion, for example, as being the source of ignorance or backwardness. And above all, very brave! It must have been clear to him that the state and the authorities would react strongly to this.

Does Raif Badawi have a vision for the future?

Not directly. But he is not only preoccupied with the criticism of Islam and religious freedom, as one would assume - there's much more to it than that. He also, for example, writes about his own concerns, like how more and more fine minds are leaving the Arabic world and moving to the West, where they are freer and have more opportunities in life, without state repression. This is a recurring subject. Sometimes he also writes about economic and scientific subjects, or he picks out subjects from his own life, or reflects on the traditional Saudi Arabian lifestyles, of which he says: They are not as strict as the authorities demand them to be nowadays.

Many German readers actually do not know about that, of course.

Yes, and that is why his wife is very happy that the book is being published in German. But there was a slightly irritating incident during the work process.

You mean media outlets citing German diplomatic recommendations against publishing the book?

Yes, the reason why the German foreign ministry recommended not publishing the book was that it could hinder behind-the-scenes efforts to release Badawi. We took this seriously, and told Badawi's wife about this. She spoke to her husband and they both quickly agreed: Yes, this book should be published, said both of them.

The book in German, entitled "1000 Peitschenhiebe - weil ich sage, was ich denke" ("1000 lashes - because I say what I think") will be published by the German publisher Ullstein Verlag and released on April 1. The editor, Constantin Schreiber, is a presenter and managing editor for the German news broadcaster n-tv. In the past, he worked as a correspondent for DW.

Related Article:

More corrupt Chinese officials kill themselves than get death penalty

Want China Times, Huang Su-yu and Staff Reporter 2015-03-30

China's former railways minister Liu Zhijun was given the death sentence
with reprieve in Beijing on July 8, 2013. (Photo/CNS)

The number of Chinese officials who commit suicide soon after they are placed under investigation for coouption is increasing — greater than the number who are ultimately sentenced to death for graft, reports our Chinese-language sister paper Want Daily.

Thirty-nine such officials committed suicide in 2014 compared to seven in 2013, according to the Financial Times, which was quoted in a January 2015 article by Sound of Hope (SOH), a Chinese-language news website based in San Francisco.

China's non-transparent legal system and governmental pressure given on officials fingered for graft have contributed to the increasingly high suicide rate, according to the Financial Times.

From August 2003 to April 2014, the Financial Times counted 112 Chinese officials who committed suicide in 26 provinces. Over 70% of them were department chiefs and below. Among these officials, over 20% were allegedly involved in corruption cases.

In the 39 officials who committed suicide in 2014, 10 were either indicted or suspected of corruption.

Figures about corrupt officials' suicides have also been concealed by the authorities because of the potential negative effects on their family members, according to Financial Times. The official numbers are therefore only a conservative evaluation, hiding an even larger number of government officials who committed suicide.

On the other hand, the number of government officials who were sentenced to death for corruption had on the opposite decreased. China's criminal law stipulates that an official who makes illegal gains of up to 5,000 yuan (US$800) would be sentenced to one year in prison, and their sentence would be increased by a year for each further 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) they pocketed. Officials who obtained more than 100,000 yuan (US$16,000) through graft may be subject to a life sentence. Above that and they could potentially face the death penalty.

SOH reported however that only a very small number of corrupt officials are sentenced to death — and the death sentence is often commuted to life imprisonment after two years. There were only 15 officials sentenced to death between 2000 and 2011. Between 2012 and 2014, only one official was executed for corruption — Zhang Xinhua, a former general manager for Baiyun Agricultural, Industrial and Commercial United Company in Guangzhou, who reportedly took 400 million yuan (US$64.4 million) in bribes.

The Communist Party mouthpiece People's Daily questioned why so many government officials would commit suicide when placed under a graft probe. Qian Lieyang, a lawyer for Liu Zhijun, the former railways minister who was given a death sentence with reprieve in 2013, said he does not think the death sentence is enough of a deterrent and the suicide cases are proof that corrupt officials are not afraid of dying, as that might the best choice for them.

Liu, who oversaw the development of China's high-speed rail network and skimmed mightily off the top in the process, was sentenced to death with a reprieve on July 8, 2013. Death sentence with reprieve is a criminal punishment only found in China, whereby death row inmates have their execution suspended for two years and are only executed if they are found to have intentionally committed further crimes during that time. The sentence is otherwise automatically reduced to life imprisonment.

The suicide of officials fingered for corruption is frustrating to legal investigations due to the loss of testimony from the subject about their crime and the diminished chance of catching others who may be implicated.

Members of the public are often pleased when officials kill themselves, seeing it as a natural form of justice that the system cannot pervert, reflecting a lack of trust in the party's discretion to investigate internally before handing officials over the courts.

A group of state-owned enterprise officials under trial in Wenzhou, 
Zhejiang province, December 2011. (File photo/Xinhua)

Related Article:

Monday, March 30, 2015

Arab leaders agree joint military force

Yahoo – AFP, Haitham El-Tabei, 29 March 2015

(Front from L-R) Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Kuwait Emir Sheikh 
Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Yemeni 
President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and Sudanese President Omar al Bashir 
(middle-C) (AFP Photo/Mohamed Samaaha)

Sharm el Sheikh (Egypt) (AFP) - Arab leaders agreed on Sunday to form a joint military force after a summit dominated by a Saudi-led offensive on Shiite rebels in Yemen and the threat from Islamist extremism.

Arab representatives will meet over the next month to study the creation of the force and present their findings to defence ministers within four months, according to the resolution adopted by the leaders.

"Assuming the great responsibility imposed by the great challenges facing our Arab nation and threatening its capabilities, the Arab leaders had decided to agree on the principle of a joint Arab military force," Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi told the summit in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The decision was mostly aimed at fighting jihadists who have overrun swathes of Iraq and Syria and secured a foothold in Libya, Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said ahead of the summit.

On Sunday, Arabi told the meeting the region was threatened by a "destructive" force that threatened "ethnic and religious diversity", in an apparent reference to the Islamic State group.

"What is important is that today there is an important decision, in light of the tumult afflicting the Arab world," he said.

Egypt had pushed for the creation of the rapid response force to fight militants, and the matter gained urgency this week after Saudi Arabia and Arab allies launched air strikes on Huthi rebels in Yemen.

A handout picture made available by the Egyptian presidency shows Egyptian
 President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (C) speaking during a closed session with Arab
 leaders during the Arab League summit in the Red Sea resort of Sharm 
El-Sheikh on March 28, 2015 (AFP Photo)

Arabi, reading a statement at the conclusion of the summit, said on Sunday the offensive would continue until the Huthis withdraw from regions they have overrun and surrender their weapons.

Several Arab states including Egypt are taking part in the military campaign, which Saudi King Salman said on Saturday would continue until the Yemeni people "enjoy security".

'Months to create'

Yemeni President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi at the start of the summit called for the offensive to end only when the Huthis "surrender", calling the rebel leader an Iranian "puppet".

However, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the leaders to find a peaceful resolution in Yemen.

"It is my fervent hope that at this Arab League summit, leaders will lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen," he said.

James Dorsey, a Middle East analyst with the Singapore-based S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said that despite support for a joint-Arab force, "it would still take months to create and then operate on an ad-hoc basis.

"I don't think we will get an integrated command anytime soon, as no Arab leader would cede control of any part of their army anytime soon," he said.

"Today we will have a formal declaration that would be negotiated every time during action."

Sisi said in a recent interview that the proposal for a joint force was welcomed especially by Jordan, which might take part alongside Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait.

Saudi Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition
 forces, speaks to the media next to a replica of a Tornado fighter jet (AFP
Photo/Fayez Nureldine)

Aaron Reese, deputy research director at the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War, said "each of these countries would bring a different capability.

"The Jordanians are well known for their special forces capability... the Egyptians of course have the most manpower and bases close to Libya."

Before Egyptian air strikes in February targeting the IS in Libya, the United Arab Emirates, which shares Cairo's antipathy towards Islamists, had reportedly used Egyptian bases to launch its own air strikes there.

Cairo had sought UN backing for intervention in Libya, dismissing attempted peace talks between the rival governments in its violence-plagued North African neighbour as ineffective.

Asean peacekeeping force (JG Graphics/Josep Tri Ronggo)

Related Articles:

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Afghanistan: Death sentence commuted for murderer of German photographer Niedringhaus

The death sentence for the police officer who murdered German photographer Anja Niedringhaus in Afghanistan last April has been commuted. The country's highest court has ruled he serve 20 years jail instead, AP says.

Deutsche Welle, 29 March 2015

An archive portrait of Anja Niedringhaus, holding a camera

The Associated Press - which Anja Niedringhaus worked for - reported late Saturday that the country's Supreme Court decided the Afghan police officer should spend 20 years in jail for the murder, citing court documents sent to Afghanistan's attorney-general.

The sentence for Naqibullah, a former police unit commander, was commuted from the death penalty which a primary court recommended for him last year. He had been convicted of murder and treason.

Naqibullah, who like many in Afghanistan goes by a single name, opened fire on Niedringhaus and veteran AP correspondent Kathy Gannon without warning on April 4, 2014. The two were covering the first round of the country's presidential elections. Niedringhaus, aged 48, died instantly. Gannon was badly wounded and is still recovering from her injuries in Canada.

"Neither Anja nor I believe in the death penalty," Gannon said upon learning of the ruling. "I know I speak for Anja, as well as for myself, when I say one crazy gunman neither defines a nation nor a people."

Gannon added that it was "a joy" to cover Afghanistan and she was planning to go back there once she had completed her surgeries and healing. "I will return for both of us," she said.

Maximum sentence

According to Zahid Safi, a lawyer for AP who had been briefed on the decision, 20 years is the maximum prison term in Afghanistan.

Naqibullah was sentenced to death by Afghanistan's primary court last July and an Appeals Court decided in January to commute the punishment to the jail term. That sentence was appealed to Afghanistan's highest court, the Supreme Court, which made the 20-year sentence final, although under Afghan law prison time can be reduced if a prisoner shows "social rehabilitation."

Niedringhaus was an award-winning German photographer renowned for her work in conflict zones and humane depictions of ordinary life. An annual award for courage in photojournalism was named in her honor. Heidi Levine was named as its inaugural winner on March 24.

se/bk (AP)

Dutch to support China-backed Asian infrastructure bank, March 29, 2015

Rutte and Chinese president Xi Jinping. Photo:

The Netherlands plans to participate in a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), prime minister Mark Rutte told a trade conference in China at the weekend.

‘The AIIB is good for Asia and that is good for the Netherlands,’ the prime minister said in a statement. ‘The Netherlands earns 30% of its income abroad… in particular we must be well represented in this region. 

More than 1,000 Dutch companies are already doing business in China, he said. ‘Our trade mission to China underlines how valuable it is to invest in a sustainable relationship.’ 

The US has advised against participation in the AIIB  because it is unclear how much influence China will have. China will deliver the biggest share of the capital but has said it will not demand right of veto. 

Britain, France, Germany and Italy have aleady said they would join the AIIB despite US objections. 

According to Reuters, the AIIB is seen as a challenge to existing institutions like the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The aim of the bank is to finance infrastructure projects such as roads and railways in Asia.

US President Barack Obama, left, poses with Chinese President Xi Jinping as
 he arrives for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders meeting at Yanqi
Lake, north of Beijing on Nov. 11, 2014. (AFP Photo/Greg Baker)

Related Articles:

Xi Jinping, right, meets President Joko Widodo of Indonesia at the Great
Hall of the People in Beijing, March 26. (Photo/Xinhua)

"The Timing of the Great Shift" – Mar 21, 2009 (Kryon channelled by Lee Carroll) - (Text version)

“… Here is another one. A change in what Human nature will allow for government. "Careful, Kryon, don't talk about politics. You'll get in trouble." I won't get in trouble. I'm going to tell you to watch for leadership that cares about you. "You mean politics is going to change?" It already has. It's beginning. Watch for it. You're going to see a total phase-out of old energy dictatorships eventually. The potential is that you're going to see that before 2013. They're going to fall over, you know, because the energy of the population will not sustain an old energy leader. Remember where you heard it... in a strange, esoteric meeting with a guy in a chair pretending to channel. [Kryon being factious... Kryon humor] Then when you hear it, you'll know better, won't you? "Maybe there was something really there," you'll say. "Maybe it was real," you'll say. Perhaps you can skip all the drama of the years to come and consider that now? [Kryon humor again]

These leaders are going to fall over. You'll have a slow developing leadership coming to you all over the earth where there is a new energy of caring about the public. "That's just too much to ask for in politics, Kryon." Watch for it. That's just the beginning of this last phase. So many things are coming. The next one is related to this, for a country in survival with sickness cannot sustain a leadership of high consciousness. There is just too much opportunity for power and greed. But when a continent is healed, everything changes. .."

".. Many years ago, the prevailing thought was that nobody should consider China as a viable player on the economic stage. They were backward, filled with a system that would never be westernized, and had no wish to become joined with the rest of the world's economic systems. Look what has happened in only 30 years. Now, look at Africa differently …”

ASEAN has pivotal role in Beijing's regional integration plans

Want China Times, Staff Reporter 2015-03-29

Xi Jinping, right, meets President Joko Widodo of Indonesia at the Great
Hall of the People in Beijing, March 26. (Photo/Xinhua)

The 2015 Boao Forum for Asia, currently underway in China's southern island province of Hainan under the theme "Asia's New Future: Towards a Community of Common Destiny," has revealed a good deal about China's continuing role in forming this community and the basis on which it can be established, according to Duowei News, an outlet run by overseas Chinese.

The sub-forums held at the forum laid out China's blueprint for the community, according to the website.

There have been six main topics of discussion at this year's forum, including macroeconomic policy, regional cooperation, industrial transformation, political security and social welfare, with 77 formal discussion sessions. There has also been much talk of China's Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) initiative, as well as the New Silk Road Economic Belt, the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road plans, East Asian economic integration and the much touted "new normal" for China's economy.

This year's Boao Forum has coincided with the end of the two sessions in China–the annual meetings of the National People's Congress and the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference–and the deadline for application to be a founding member of the AIIB on March 31. China has taken advantage of this convenient timing to discuss these concepts at length. In the middle of all the discussion centered on China however, the forum also played host to a discussion session entitled "ASEAN Community: A New Starting Point for Integration" at which foreign minister Wang Yi gave a speech. This has led many to speculate on Beijing's reasons for lending such importance to this session.

Quiet changes at the Boao Forum

That China was willing to give the floor to this session, during such a high-profile diplomatic event for the country, suggests that ASEAN integration is key to China's interests in the region and to its own trade initiatives.

Asia accounts for 60% of the world's population and according to an estimate by the Asian Development Bank, by 2050, Asia will make up 51% of the global GDP. However, it is not yet clear how regional integration will play out through this time frame. In recent decades Asia has witnessed unprecedented economic growth, increased regional trade and direct investment as well as economic and social exchanges between countries. This is not just on the economic front, but also in terms of security, in dealing with terrorism and pirates. Political and military cooperation is also starting to make headway, according to Duowei.

Compared with Europe, Africa or South America, however, Asia has traditionally been held back by geographical issues, which have prevented institutionalized cooperation, with only informal meetings between leaders and ministerial-level summits. There is also a need for an effective negotiation mechanism in Asia. Beijing clearly hopes that its new initiatives can resolve this.

At the national level, the ten countries that make up ASEAN have undergone different paths of political, cultural and economic development, but as an organization, they make up a collective of 600 million people, linked by river ways as well as maritime and overland routes, stretching through Eurasia to the Pacific. This is of strategic importance for China's planned "Belt and Road" initiative, as ASEAN countries serve as the gateway to the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road. ASEAN countries were also among the earliest initiators of economic integration in Asia, setting out first from preferential trade conditions, to free trade agreements, until they eventually formed an economic community.

This is not the first time Beijing has dedicated a platform to talks between ASEAN countries. Beijing sees ASEAN as a testing ground for its ambitions to implement its strategic entry into Eurasia and so has played a key role in facilitating integration within the organization. From 1991 onward, after then foreign minister Qian Qichen visited the 24th ASEAN leaders' summit as a guest at the invite of host country Malaysia, China's cooperative relationship with the organization began in earnest. This led to regional economic cooperation initiatives surrounding the Mekong river and the Gulf of Tonkin and China subsequently played a role in facilitating negotiations over the ASEAN Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and its predecessor.

President Xi Jinping invited the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, on a state visit on the eve of the forum from March 25-28. On March 26 the two leaders issued a joint statement announcing that they would strengthen the strategic partnership between their countries. The joint statement also reaffirmed Beijing's support for ASEAN's role in regional integration as well as for the ASEAN+3 mechanism - talks between ASEAN countries, South Korea, China and Japan. As Indonesia is often perceived as the major driver behind ASEAN, the move is likely another sign of the importance Beijing is placing on the organization.

The idea of a "Community of Destiny" was first mentioned in a report from the 18th CPC National Congress in November 2012. The concept also featured in Xi's speech at the 2013 Boao Forum, held in April of that year. Xi also mentioned the concept while meeting with Laotian president Choummaly Sayasone in August of 2013 and in a speech at the Indonesian congress in September of the same year. On each occasion he stressed the importance of ASEAN to this community of destiny.

Li Keqiang, right, meets Joko Widodo at the Great Hall of the
People in Beijing, March 27. (Photo/Xinhua)

Related Article:

Beijing responds positively to Taiwan's wish to join AIIB

Want China Times, CNA 2015-03-29

Vincent Siew, left, and Xi Jinping shake hands at the Boao Forum in
Hainan, March 28. (Photo/CNA)

Beijing is willing to strengthen contact with Taiwan to discuss issues related to Taiwan's possible inclusion in the China-proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), China's foreign minister Wang Yi said Saturday.

According to Wang, participants in the multilateral organization are required to meet certain standards and engage in certain procedural negotiations.

As to what name Taiwan might use to join the AIIB, he said the matter can be handled in accordance with international practice.

Wang made the remarks in response to a question from the media while attending the Boao Forum for Asia being held in Boao in the southern Chinese province of Hainan.

Due to China's opposition, Taiwan often has trouble joining international organizations, and when it does, it cannot use its official title, the Republic of China. In most cases, Taiwan has used the name "Chinese Taipei."

Related Articles:

Grateful Singapore gives Lee Kuan Yew a hero's funeral

Yahoo – AFP, Roberto Coloma, 29 March 2015

The body of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew is transferred atop a gun
 carriage during a funeral procession in Singapore on March 29, 2015 (AFP
Photo/Mohd Fyrol)

Tens of thousands of mourners braved torrential rain, howitzers fired a 21-gun salute and jet fighters screamed across the sky as a grand funeral began Sunday for Singapore's founding leader Lee Kuan Yew.

Singaporeans chanted Lee's name as the former prime minister's coffin, draped in the red-and-white national flag and protected by a glass case atop a two-wheeled gun carriage, emerged from parliament pulled by a ceremonial Land Rover.

Four F-16 fighters from the air force's Black Knights aerobatic team staged a fly-past -- with one peeling off to symbolise a "missing man" -- as the cortege made its way through the adjacent civic square where Lee was first sworn in as prime minister in 1959.

The body of former prime minister Lee Kuan
 Yew arrives at the University of Cultural 
Center for the state funeral service in 
Singapore on March 29, 2015 (AFP Photo/
Adek Berry)
He kept the position for 31 years, ruling with an iron fist to transform Singapore from a sleepy British colonial outpost into a gleaming metropolis that now enjoys one of the world's highest standards of living.

Singapore became a republic in 1965 after a brief and stormy union with Malaysia. Lee died less than five months before the island celebrates its 50th anniversary as a nation.

A 21-gun salute is normally reserved for sitting heads of state but an exception was made for Lee, whom many regarded as the de facto national hero of Singapore even when he was alive.

People wept openly, waved flags and threw flowers on the street as the motorcade drove through districts associated with the political career of the British-trained former trade union lawyer.

Officials said more than 450,000 people had paid their last respects to Lee, who died Monday in hospital aged 91, by the time his public wake ended in parliament on Saturday night.

"It has been a deeply moving experience," his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, said on Facebook in a thank-you message to the people before the funeral ceremonies got under way.

Strangers huddled together under umbrellas as they waited patiently along the procession route which ended at the National University of Singapore, where a state funeral started at 2:00 pm (0600 GMT) with world dignitaries in attendance.

Families including babies and grandparents turned up early to secure choice spots along the 15-kilometre (10-mile) procession route.

Graphic showing route of the funeral procession for late Singapore leader
Lee Kuan Yew (AFP Photo)

"We are here today as a family to witness this historic moment. As Singaporeans we may have our differences, but when it comes to a crunch we stand together. That is what Singapore is about and that is Mr Lee's legacy," said teacher Joel Lim, 35.

Lee stepped down in 1990 in favour of his deputy Goh Chok Tong, who in turn was succeeded by Lee's son.

During the state funeral, sirens will sound for the nation to observe a minute of silence for Lee, who will be later cremated in a private ceremony.

Former US president Bill Clinton will lead the American delegation that also includes former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, a close friend of Lee.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, South Korean President Park Geun-Hye, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Malaysian King Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah and Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah are among the leaders listed to attended the funeral.

People wait for the state funeral of former 
premier Lee Kuan Yew outside Parliament 
House in Singapore on March 29, 2015
(AFP Photo/Mohd Fyrol)
Singapore's former colonial ruler Britain will be represented by Leader of the House of Commons William Hague, who earlier served as foreign secretary.

Lee is revered by Singaporeans for his economic and social legacy but criticised by rights groups for sidelining political opponents, muzzling the press and clamping down on civil liberties.

Singapore has one of the highest GDP per capita incomes in the world at $56,284 in 2014, up from a mere $516 when it gained independence.

Ninety percent of Singaporeans own their homes, thanks to a public housing scheme launched by Lee, and the country enjoys one of the world's lowest crime rates.

Its highly paid civil service is consistently ranked among the world's most honest.

But development has created fresh problems, topped by a rapidly ageing population, making Singapore dependent on foreigners who now constitute nearly 40 percent of the 5.5 million population.

Related Article:

Indonesia and China eye further infrastructure cooperation

Want China Times, Xinhua 2015-03-29

Li Keqiang, right, meets Joko Widodo at the Great Hall of the People
in Beijing, March 27. (Photo/Xinhua)

China and Indonesia pledged more infrastructure construction and investment cooperation during a meeting between Premier Li Keqiang of China and President Joko Widodo of Indonesia on Friday.

The Chinese government will encourage more reputable companies to invest in Indonesia and participate in the construction of high-speed railway, metro rail and port industrial parks, Li said.

He called on the two countries to conduct production capacity cooperation, through which China will help Indonesia turn its abundant resources into the material for industrialization development, and to increase two-way trade and investment.

Joko echoed Li, saying Indonesia hopes to strengthen cooperation with China in areas including energy, maritime industry, agriculture, aviation and tourism.

He welcomed Chinese investment and voiced support for the establishment of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), saying he hoped the AIIB could contribute to the region's economic development.

Indonesia officially joined the China-proposed AIIB in November 2014, making it a founding member.

With regards to China-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) relations, Li hailed the positive role played by Indonesia in promoting the sound development of ties.

Li said China was ready to work with ASEAN to maintain the peace, development and prosperity of east Asia.

After meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Li and Joko also attended a bilateral economic cooperation forum, on the sidelines of which companies from the two countries signed around 30 deals worth US$40 billion, according to Suryo Bambang Sulisto, president of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Sulisto told the forum that China's investment in Indonesia's mining and maritime industry would bring good benefit to the country and Indonesia hoped to take advantage of China's economic growth.

Li said the two countries both had big populations, which means huge markets. They are complementary in terms of different industrialization processes. The two sides should combine China's advantage of technology and capital with Indonesia's advantage of market and resources to promote a coordinated upstream and downstream development.

The premier also pledged to encourage Chinese companies to increase investment to Indonesia.

Joko said Indonesia had demand for high-speed railway, port, airport, power plant and industrial parks. Indonesia will provide a good investment environment for Chinese companies.

Joko was invited by President Xi Jinping for a state visit. He will also go to Boao, in south China's Hainan province, to attend the annual Boao Forum for Asia conference.

Joko also met with Xi and top legislator Zhang Dejiang.

Chinese president calls for 'new regional order' at Asian forum

Chinese President Xi Jinping has opened a regional economic forum by calling for more cooperation among Asian nations. He urged Asia to build "a community of common destiny."

Deutsche Welle, 28 March 2015

 Chinese President Xi Jinping REUTERS/Kyodo News/Parker Song/Pool

In his keynote address at the Boao Forum on Hainan island in southern China, Xi stressed the need for Asian nations to join forces to increase regional and world prosperity.

"Facing the fast-changing regional and international landscapes, we must see the whole picture, follow the trends of our times and build a new regional order that is more favorable to Asia and the world," he told the hundreds of regional leaders at the China-hosted gathering, which has taken place annually since 2002.

He said that by improving trade and transport links in the region, "we can turn the seas of Asia into seas of peace and cooperation."

Xi also called on the world's nations to support Beijing's ideas for a new development bank that some see as a potential rival to the Western-dominated International Monetary Fund and World Bank and the Japanese-dominated Asian Development Bank.

Seeking to allay such fears, the Chinese president said his country would promote "coordinated development between the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and multilateral financial institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and World Bank."

The AIIB is due to be set up later this year, with March 31 the deadline for countries to apply to join as founding members.

Chinese economy 'healthy'

At the same time, Xi emphasized that the Chinese economy was running as planned despite annual economic growth having sunk to about 7 percent, the lowest in 20 years.

"This new normal of the Chinese economy will continue to bring more opportunities for trade growth and development for the countries of Asia and beyond," he said, adding that China was now aiming for increased quality and efficiency as opposed to rapid growth in its economy.

He also announced more than $500 billion (459 billion euros) in Chinese investment abroad, saying that China's size gave it "more responsibility for world peace and development."

'Silk Road'

A focus of discussions at the forum is likely to be China's proposed "Silk Road economic belt" initiatives aimed at facilitating regional trade through cooperation on railways, roads, energy and information technology, the state-run China Daily newspaper said.

China is currently seeking to extend its influence in the region in a bid seen as a challenge to the previous dominance of the United States.

Leaders of Austria, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Armenia and Zambia were all expected to attend the forum, which its founders hope will become an Asian version of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

tj/sms (AP, dpa)

Xi Jinping, right, meets President Joko Widodo of Indonesia at the
Great Hall of the People in Beijing, March 26. (Photo/Xinhua)