Asian nations discussed plans at a major summit Saturday to ‘lead the world’ by boosting economic and political cooperation and possibly forming an EU-style community. The prime ministers of regional giants China and India also looked to foster unity on the sidelines of the summit in Thailand after months of trading barbs over long-standing territorial issues. But nuclear-armed North Korea and military-ruled Myanmar were also set to top the agenda in the royal beach resort of Hua Hin, underscoring the challenges still facing the region. The summit groups the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) with regional partners China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand. Japan’s new Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said a proposed East Asian community involving all 16 countries should aspire to take a leading role as the region makes an early rebound from the global economic crisis. ‘It would be meaningful for us to have the aspiration that East Asia is going to lead the world and with the various countries with different regimes cooperating with each other towards that perspective,’ Hatoyama, who took office last month, told the Bangkok Post newspaper. He described Japan’s alliance with the […]

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