The first Model ASEAN summit in Hong Kong was launched on 19-20 August. Consul-General of Malaysia and Vice-Consul of the Philippines attended the opening ceremony.
All eyes turned to Southeast Asia as the Permanent Court of Arbitration announces the ruling of the Philippines’ lawsuit against China over the sovereignty claim in South China Sea. In Hong Kong, a group of students has already tried modeling how the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will respond to China’s ballistic reaction.
Students from Hong Kong Baptist University, City University of Hong Kong and several secondary schools organised 2016 Model ASEAN Summit, the first in Hong Kong, on 19-20 August. Tengku Sirajuzzaman bin Tengku Mohamed Ariffin, Consul-General of Malaysia in Hong Kong, and Fatima Guzman Quintin, Vice-Consul of the Philippines in Hong Kong gave speeches at the opening ceremony to share their views on ASEAN and the ties between ASEAN and Hong Kong. The two diplomats emphasised ASEAN’s goal on bringing success for all of its member states. Regarding the South China Sea disputes, Both stressed that both bilateral and ASEAN-led approaches will be adopted when addressing disagreement and conflicts with China.
ASEAN and Hong Kong are entering into the final stage of free trade agreement negotiations, which is scheduled to be finalised by this year. Given the growing exchanges and dynamics between ASEAN and Hong Kong, more model ASEAN summits can be expected in the foreseeable future.