View Full Version : Asia-Africa Conference thread
April 16th, 2005, 08:31 AM
This is the most high profile conference that Indonesia will be hosting this year, will be attended by reps from 100+ countries including 52 heads of states. Post all news here.
I'll start with the cars :)
State officials to get Camrys
Rendi A. Witular and Primastuti Handayani, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta
The Indonesian government has opted to use Toyota Camrys as the official car for all state officials, with Volvo S80s being used to transport heads of state for next week's Asian-African Summit.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said on Friday that all government officials, up to provincial level, should use Toyota Camry sedans as their operational cars, and use the car's price as a ceiling for all official cars.
With a special discount, the President said, each Camry, which carries 3,000cc engine under its bonnet, was priced at below Rp 400 million (US$42,000), lower than the market price of around Rp 450 million.
Earlier this month, State Secretary Yusril Ihza Mahendra said that the sedans were bought for around Rp 350 million each from a car showroom in Jakarta.
"From now on, I don't want to hear any (state) officials purchasing operational cars priced at some Rp 900 million. All official cars' should be priced below Rp 400 million. This is for efficiency," Susilo said during a ceremony at the National Resilience Institute (Lemhannas).
The call for efficiency and modest lifestyles among state officials was started by chairman of the People's Consultative Assembly Hidayat Nur Wahid, who immediately declared after being named as chairman last October that he would not be using a Volvo as his official car, as he considered such cars too luxurious.
Susilo said ministers and heads of state institutions would use the 3,000cc Camry sedans, while echelon I level officials would use the 2,000cc model.
"I tried the 2,000cc Camry just a few days ago. It's a nice car and it's suitable for ministers. I don't think we should use Volvo sedans anymore because they are perceived by the public as luxury cars," he said.
The government has already ordered 60 Camry sedans for high-ranking foreign delegations attending the upcoming Asian-African Summit. After the three-day Summit, the sedans will become official cars for high-ranking government officials.
However, the government will still provide 60 Volvo S80 2.3T cars to serve heads of state. The cars, which have a price tag of around Rp 600 million each, were being loaned by PT Indomobil Sukses International Tbk to Summit organizers.
"Due to the government's limited budget, the loan of the cars is a great help to us," Rildo Ananda Anwar, deputy state secretary on administration, said in a press conference on Friday.
Indomobil President Director Gunadi Sindhuwinata said that his company has put mechanics on standby and provided training for members of the Presidential Guard who will drive the cars.
Besides the Volvos, Indomobil has also loaned Summit organizers 80 Nissan X-Trail 2.5St for protocol, 120 Nissan Terrano Spirit S2 for security and eight Hino buses.
April 16th, 2005, 01:37 PM
this is a mamooth of an event...security better be tight!!
A-A Summit to facilitate scores of bilateral meetings
Adianto P. Simamora, The Jakarta Post/Jakarta
When leaders of the Asian and African countries assemble later this month in Jakarta to attend the Asian-African Summit, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will be the most sought-after leader, hosting scores of bilateral meetings with the heads of state/government on the sidelines of the summit.
The summit will also be a rare opportunity for meetings between friends as well as foes. A meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will draw media attention given the present tensions between the two countries.
Likewise, South Asian protagonists Indian Prime Minister and Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf. Others sure to attract media attention will be Myanmar's Senior Gen. Than Shwe, Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, and North Korea's President of the Presidium of Supreme People's Assembly Kim Young-nam.
Director for African affairs at the foreign ministry, Bali Moniaga, said that the summit organizing committee had arranged 20 booths at the Jakarta Convention Center, where the summit will be held, for the conduct of bilateral talks.
"This is one of the important contributions of the summit. There will be series of bilateral meetings on the sidelines. Many leaders have asked us to facilitate their meetings," he said.
President Susilo is also scheduled to hold marathon bilateral talks with his counterparts from the two continents.
As of Friday, according to Bali, several heads of state/government from the two continents had submitted letters asking for bilateral talks with Susilo.
"We have so far received requests from about 30 leaders of the two continents for bilateral talks with President Susilo," Bali said without elaborating.
He said that decisions regarding bilateral talks would be made by the president's office.
Eighty-three countries and UN bodies, and six international organizations have confirmed their attendance at the two-day summit, which is scheduled to commence on April 22.
Of the 83 countries, 52 will be represented by heads of state/government, three by vice presidents and 26 countries by special envoy or ministers. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan will also attend the summit.
In addition, the government has also invited leaders from non-Asian-African countries, namely the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Australia and New Zealand as observers at the summit.
The summit -- a commemoration of the Asia-Africa Conference in 1955 in Bandung, West Java -- was initiated by Indonesia and South Africa.
The South African President Thabo Mbeki is slated to arrive in Jakarta on a state visit on April 19.
"We plan to sign a number of agreements during his visit (Mbeki) to Jakarta," he said.
Minister of Hassan Wirayuda reiterated that Indonesia has a big interest in African countries, especially in economic and trade sectors.
"Besides, it has 53 votes at the United Nations. Africa -- home to 800 million people -- is also a potential market for Indonesia," Hassan said in a speech read by secretary general Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat on Thursday.
He said that Indonesia's exports to African countries reached $1.2 billion in 2003, far lower than the other Asian countries of China, Malaysia and Thailand.
"Indonesia needs to energetically explore these new markets (in African countries)," he said.
He said that Indonesia had established diplomatic ties with 40 African countries and opened representative offices in 16 nations.
Not only Indonesia, but a number of other Asian countries have long enjoyed good partnerships with the African continent.
China established the so-called China-African Cooperation Conference Forum, Japan the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), while India set up a India-New Partnership for African Development Fund.
Data from the ministry showed that China is currently investing in 600 companies in the fields of industry, trade and agricultural in 49 countries in Africa.
India itself has some 43 investment projects in Egypt, while Asian countries such as South Korea and Malaysia are currently boosting their investment in Africa.
April 16th, 2005, 03:28 PM
Special Forces soldiers take position as they escort an injured VIP during an evacuation drill in preparation for next week's Asia-Africa Summit, at Jakarta Convention Center compound in Jakarta, Indonesia, Saturday, April 16, 2005. More than 30,000 Indonesian security personnel will be deployed for the summit, which will be attended by more than 100 foreign leaders and senior officials. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)
Indonesian soldiers perform a riot drill with actors playing protestors, in preparation for next week's Asia Africa Summit, Friday, April 15, 2005, in Jakarta, Indonesia. More than 30,000 Indonesian security personnel, including civilian volunteers, will be deployed during this month's Asia-Africa Summit, to be attended by more than 100 foreign leaders and senior officials. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)
Indonesian soldiers stand at attention during a series of drills in preparation for next week's Asia Africa Summit, Friday, April 15, 2005, in Jakarta, Indonesia. More than 30,000 Indonesian security personnel, including civilian volunteers, will be deployed during this month's Asia-Africa Summit, to be attended by more than 100 foreign leaders and senior officials. (AP Photo/Irwin Fedriansyah)
An Indonesian soldier points his rifle during a security drill in central Jakarta on April 15, 2005. Indonesia will deploy 50,000 police and soldiers, including snipers on rooftops, to guard a summit of Asian and African leaders to be held between April 22-24 in Jakarta and Bandung, in West Java, and will focus especially on preventing terrorist attack, police said. REUTERS/Supri
Thousands of Indonesian soldiers gather for a security ceremony in central Jakarta April 15, 2005. Indonesia will deploy 50,000 police and soldiers, including snipers on rooftops, to guard a summit of Asian and African leaders to be held between April 22-24 in Jakarta and Bandung, in West Java, and will focus especially on preventing terrorist attack, police said. REUTERS/Supri
Soldiers from Indonesia's Special Forces Command or Kopassus display their skills to celebrate its 53rd birthday anniversary at their headquarters in Jakarta April 16, 2005. REUTERS/Dadang Tri
April 16th, 2005, 04:44 PM
I guess Riau Governor (if he ever attend the conference), will be the only one that ride a Mercedez Benz! How proud he is!!! :D
April 16th, 2005, 05:36 PM
OAKLEY helmet? Wow!
April 17th, 2005, 10:55 AM
April 17th, 2005, 11:09 AM
Avoid Hotel Indonesia round about and Plaza Indonesia as last night was very crowded, traffic jammed and no parking space at Plaza Indonesia/XX
April 17th, 2005, 01:12 PM
even this morning (7am) it was getting crowded...and there were these loud speakers.
cool @ oakley goggles.:) Security is pretty tight around hotel mulia. just past it this afternoon.
April 17th, 2005, 01:16 PM
And in response to the cars. I pass by the Volvo Dealership that houses the cars for the conference everyday on the way to school. Before i knew it was for the conference i kept wondering why there were so many S80s, Nissan X-trails and Terranos. Now i know:) Its quite a nice sight to see all those cars parked up.
i have a question. since the camrys will go to the govt after the conference, where will the volvos and nissans go?
April 17th, 2005, 02:54 PM
The nissan and volvos are leased.
So they'll come back to the factory I guess. Cleaned and sold as new again.
April 17th, 2005, 04:15 PM
The nissan and volvos are leased.
So they'll come back to the factory I guess. Cleaned and sold as new again.
sold as new? I think not...they should give some discounts for that.
My first car here was a Civic, got it for like A$4000-5000 cheaper than original price because it was a demo car eventhough it had only done 25 KMs when I got it!!!!
April 17th, 2005, 05:00 PM
Oh.. what I mean was "as new", as in like a new car.. which is not (just like).. same meaning as in "ex demo" lah ;)
April 18th, 2005, 10:48 AM
Indonesia returns to world stage for Asia-Africa summit
Mon April 18, 2005 8:16 AM GMT+02:00
By Dean Yates
JAKARTA (Reuters) - When scores of Asian and African leaders descend on Indonesia this week, they will find an increasingly stable country re-asserting itself in the region, and its rowdy democracy a beacon to the Muslim world.
With an urbane English-speaking president, Indonesia for the first time in a decade is winning back international respect and stature after years of crisis, communal blood-letting and an initially tepid response to fighting terrorism.
That will allow Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to showcase Indonesia's triumphs when he welcomes heads of government from countries such as China, Japan and India at the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference, which marked the first major move by the Third World to speak in a unified voice.
More than 100 countries have been invited to the Asia-Africa leaders' meeting on April 22-23 in Jakarta, and on a nostalgic trip to Bandung on April 24, a city in West Java province where the original conference was held 50 years ago.
"The timing is propitious, because Indonesia appears to have completed a transition to democracy and to be handling its domestic problems reasonably well," said William Liddle, a long-time expert on Indonesia from Ohio State University.
Indonesia has come a long way since the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis sent the world's most populous Muslim nation spinning off investor radar screens under the weight of political turmoil and communal violence.
Then came international outrage in 1999 when pro-Indonesia militias backed by Indonesian troops left most of East Timor in ruins and killed about 1,000 people by U.N. estimates after the tiny territory voted for independence.
Indonesia's first democratic presidential elections last year -- a rarity in the Muslim world -- showed the country and its 220 million people had come a long way.
But Indonesia still has to translate that political milestone into sustained economic success, tackle widespread graft and show foreign investors their money is safe.
It also needs to keep hunting militants linked to al Qaeda who have launched several big bomb attacks in recent years.
So what is Indonesia doing with its regained stature?
Dewi Fortuna Anwar, an international relations expert in Jakarta, said Indonesia was playing a greater role in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), an organisation it largely neglected during the crisis years.
"Indonesia is now again willing and able to take a role on the regional and global stage. Beginning in 2003, we've seen a more vigorous foreign policy within ASEAN," Anwar said.
"ASEAN felt a gap when Indonesia was not there."
Some have suggested Indonesia use its status as the world's most populous Muslim nation, and now the third biggest democracy, to promote the compatibility of Islam and democracy.
Liddle said while that was a fine idea, Indonesian Islam was not taken very seriously by the rest of the Muslim world, particularly the Sunni and Shia heartlands in the Middle East.
"Yudhoyono can probably accomplish more within the region than in the Muslim world," said Liddle.
While Yudhoyono clearly values ASEAN, he has reached out to Western neighbour Australia, with whom relations have often been prickly, more than any previous Indonesian president.
Pragmatic by nature, Yudhoyono also holds dear some of the concepts espoused by founding President Sukarno of fairness and equality in international relations.
But for all his intellect, he does not possess the charisma or passion of Sukarno -- a giant and an organiser of the 1955 Bandung Conference and one of the 20th Century's great orators.
"I suspect that President Yudhoyono's foreign policy goals, unlike Sukarno's, are modest. He is taking advantage of the fiftieth anniversary opportunity to remind his own people and the world of Indonesia's importance," said Liddle.
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April 19th, 2005, 05:42 AM
Asia-Africa summit puts modern relevance of non-aligned nations to the test
JAKARTA, (AFP) - Fifty years ago, 29 African and Asian heads of state met in Indonesia to proudly declare a solidarity they saw as a counterbalance to the divided world of the Cold War, free from the imperialism and dominance of the West.
But as leaders from both continents prepare to meet half a century on from the first Asia-Africa conference, which gave birth to the Non-Aligned Movement, (NAM) they face a struggle to revive lofty ideals that many participants have cast aside as they strive for a footing in a vastly different world.
Some 46 heads of state are due to gather this weekend in Jakarta and Bandung, the Java island city where Indonesia's founding president Sukarno convened the first Asia-Africa summit.
Ahead of the meeting, joint hosts Indonesia and South Africa have pushed the message that the summit will see a revival of the "Bandung spirit" as the two continents rebuild old bridges with new trade and friendship pacts.
It will be a tall order to recapture the non-aligned zeitgeist of 1955, when it seemed feasible to create an ideological blend of Asian and African nationalism acceptable to theocrats of the Middle East, capitalists from Japan and communists of China.
This is even more unlikely when considering side-issues that will dominate the 2005 meeting, such as a spat between Tokyo and Beijing, ostensibly over Japan's World War II aggression, but indicative of tensions over the race for a permanent UN Security Council seat.
Myriad other regional power struggles have been further complicated by a US-led war on terrorism that has targeted and involved several participants.
"The 50th anniversary of the Asia-Africa conference calls for deep introspection. We still need to weigh whether our destinies are really being decided at home or in Geneva or Washington," said Delhi-based political analyst Praful Bidawi.
Some observers are scornful of a gathering they see as little more than an exercise in well-meaning handshakes and empty promises that will fail to address real issues such as the spread of HIV-AIDS in both continents.
"This is a meeting looking for a mission," said John Stremlau, director of the Johannesburg-based Centre for Africa's International Relations. "There are no strategic issues."
But others see strong forces at play beneath the hot air, with the summit likely to be showcase if not for inter-continental harmony, then for emerging economic powerhouses wanting to throw their weight and make new strategic pals.
"These big developing country talk-shops don't deliver that much in terms of concrete changes to global regulations," said Peter Draper, a research fellow on African-Asian relations at the South African Institute for International Affairs.
"But I would think that this will be a good opportunity for China and India to flex their muscle, although they don't really need forums like this to do it."
Both India and China, two of the world's most populous nations, are rising as economic, military and political players on the world stage, undoubtedly emboldened by a new strategic partnership between Beijing and New Delhi.
Their status also represents how economically dynamic Asia has somewhat begun to overshadow Africa, its one-time ally in poverty and post-colonial disarray.
Nevertheless, oil-rich countries such as Nigeria, Angola and Algeria still have influence to peddle in a world market increasingly in thrall to the ebb and flow of crude, while Britain's pro-Africa plan for the Group of Eight club of the world's richest countries could help boost the continent's standing.
The past few years have seen huge increases in trade between Asia and Africa, with resource-hungry China particularly keen to draw on the oil and other raw material supplies.
Imports and exports between China and Africa reached 29.5 billion dollars in 2004, almost 60 percent up from the year before. From 1991 to 2004 trade between India and Africa rose from 890 million dollars to 2.4 billion.
Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's intention to brief the summit on plans to reform the United Nations and open up a permanent seat of the Security Council, will open up a new avenue of influence for participants.
"The Asia-Africa solidarity is also critical in the reform of the UN Security Council," says He Wenping, a political analyst at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
"China and other developing countries want to coordinate their views and stance. If Asia and Africa, even better if Latin America is included, become stronger, this will keep unilateralism in check," she said.
To the displeasure of China, Japan has made securing a permanent seat on the Security Council a major priority and is in a joint bid with Brazil, Germany and India. Only Japan, however, has the explicit backing of the United States.
Fifty years of similar rows and occasional conflicts have helped to erode the principles of territorial integrity and sovereignty, non-aggression, equality and peaceful coexistence on which non-alignment was based.
Says Hong Kong-based social analyst Josef Purnama Widyatmadja, though the world has changed since 1955, pushing the non-aligned movement off its chosen path, many of the problems it once promised to eradicate persist.
"Dictatorships still flourish in Asia and Africa, and human rights violations are a daily practice. People are still threatened by a 'war on terror', pre-emptive wars, with weapons of mass destruction, poverty, human rights abuses and HIV/AIDS," he said.
Unless this week's summit can strike a consensus on how to tackle these, says Widyatmadja, the so-called non-aligned nations could entirely undermine the world in which they stand a chance of being recognised.
"The role of Asia-Africa in promoting a just international order will depend largely in its inner strength, unity and cohesion."
April 19th, 2005, 06:09 AM
Taiwan not invited to A-A Business Summit
Zakki P. Hakim, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
The government of Taiwan will not be invited to attend the Asia-Africa Business Summit although as an economic entity it regularly attended major economic conferences such the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the organizer and a government official said.
"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has requested the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) to convene the Business Summit, avoiding possible actions that might create sensitivities for any country," the ministry's secretary general Sudjadnan Parnohadiningrat told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
He said the ministry encouraged Kadin to hold the Business Summit with a view to foster and promote business relations among countries in the two continents.
"Let the event stay with business matters, not politics," he said, adding that representatives from Taiwan's private sector would still be welcomed to observe the April 21 and April 22 event.
Sudjadnan acknowledged that Taiwan as an economic entity had great potential to boost the economies in the two continents, particularly in Africa, through trade and investment.
Kadin will host the Business Summit where about 500 CEOs and business leaders from both continents will meet and hopefully explore business opportunities.
Kadin chairman MS Hidayat told the Post that only participants of the Asia-Africa Summit would be invited to the Business Summit.
"The Business Summit is part of the Asia-Africa Summit held by the government. Thus, it is the government who made the invitations and Taiwan is not on the list," he said.
However, Kadin does not deny the advanced trade relationships between Indonesia and Taiwan.
"If Taiwan's private sector want to come as observers, we would welcome them," he said.
Taiwan has neither an embassy in Jakarta nor an official diplomatic relationship with Indonesia.
China, the world's most populous nation and a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, says Taiwan is still part of the country and strongly opposes any country trying to establish diplomatic ties with its "renegade province".
Due to its cordial diplomatic ties with China, the Indonesian government has adopted a 'One China' policy.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to open the Business Summit on April 21. In the evening Kadin will host a gala dinner where China's President Hu Jintao is scheduled to give the keynote speech.
The Business Summit will facilitate countries to become acquainted with each other, therefore the organizers have invited Japan, China, India, Singapore and South Korea, which have emerged as the locomotives of economic growth in the region.
Among the key speakers in the Business Summit are South African President Thabo M. Mbeki, Singapore's PM Lee Hsien Loong and Japan's PM Junichiro Koizumi.
Officials here will also host a series of events, including a ministerial meeting on April 20, the Asia-Africa Summit from April 22 to April 23 in Jakarta, and the golden jubilee that commemorated the 1955 Asia-Africa Summit on April 24 in Bandung.
April 19th, 2005, 03:22 PM
South Africa's President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki (L) is greeted by his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono upon his arrival at the Jakarta presidential palace in Jakarta April 19, 2005. Mbeki is in Indonesia for this week's Asian-African leaders Summit in Jakarta and Bandung, West Java, held between April 22-24. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni
April 20th, 2005, 03:34 PM
Asian, African ministers meet in Jakarta to discuss strategic partnership
JAKARTA (AFX) - Foreign ministers from Asia and Africa held talks in the Indonesian capital today aimed at drafting an agreement on a strategic alliance ahead of a weekend summit of leaders from both continents.
Ministers representing more than 80 nations are due to deliver a joint statement on their accord, likely to focus on lowering poverty, improving trade links and reversing the marginalisation of developing nations, later today.
The resolution on a 'new Asia-Africa strategic partnership' is expected to be signed at the climax of the April 22-23 Asia-Africa summit, when government leaders will converge on the Indonesian capital.
The weekend event, jointly hosted by South Africa, marks the golden jubilee of the first Asia-Africa summit held in 1955 in the city of Bandung, southeast of Jakarta, which gave birth to the Non-Aligned Movement.
It is hoped the new partnership will help revive some of the principles laid down in the original conference and strengthen the bonds between the two continents, which are home to 73 pct of the world's population.
Opening today's talks, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirayuda called on Asia and Africa to find concrete ways to alleviate poverty and raise their global clout.
'Over the years, there are aspects of the 'Bandung spirit' that have not been commensurately served by the nations of our two great continents, largely because we have not been able to develop an appropriate and effective mechanism for inter-regional cooperation,' Wirayuda said.
'We have not formulated a do-able and concrete plan of action that addresses the many challenges we are facing,' he added.
Fifty years after Asian and African leaders vowed to promote common prosperity in Bandung, millions of people still live in poverty and economic possibilities between the two continents remain largely untapped.
Wirayuda said Asia and Africa will not be able to realise their collective potential unless they establishe an institutionalised and strategic partnership in a 'vigorous and pragmatic' way.
Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said the new partnership should focus on alleviating debt and dealing with the challenges of globalisation.
The summit today also saw numerous bilateral meetings, although the focus was on relations between Tokyo and Beijing, which have become tense after violent protests in China over Japan's wartime atrocities.
Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo, speaking after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart Nobutaka Machimura, said he does not think 'bilateral relations will get worse' between China and Japan.
'It is not in our interest in the region to see these two giants having bad relations with each others,' he said.
Thai Foreign Minister Kantathi Supamongkhon said he is optimistic a resolution will be found.
'I have talked to my colleagues from China and Japan, I don't expect any problem,' he said.
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, who will attend the weekend summit, has said he hopes Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi and Chinese President Hu Jintao will use the event to mend their rift.
The current dispute, sparked by a Japanese school textbook that plays down World War II excesses, has been exacerbated by Chinese opposition to Tokyo's bid for a permanent UN Security Council seat.
Machimura earlier today told his fellow foreign ministers that his country wanted the United Nations to pass a resolution in the next few months to expand the Security Council, saying it will be a key part of the Asian-African partnership drive.
'Concerning the reform of the UN Security Council, Japan aims for the adoption of a resolution by this summer, which will in essence expand the membership in both permanent and non-permanent categories,' Machimura said.
April 21st, 2005, 06:19 AM
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (R) greets Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf at the presidential palace in Jakarta on April 21, 2005. Musharraf is in Indonesia to attend the Asia-Africa Summit. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni
April 21st, 2005, 01:17 PM
Welcome to all dignitaries leaders!
The situation in CGK is very busy and crowded! I wonder if you can even get a snapshot because the snipers are everywhere.
If you have plan to go CGK this coming days, just be prepare for traffic jam because the toll road will be closed for every an hour.
April 21st, 2005, 03:20 PM
Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives at Halim Perdana Kusuma Airport, Thursday, April, 21, 2005, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Hu Jintao is in town for the Asia Africa Summit where leaders of Asian and African nations are seeking to revitalize relations between developing nations and are set to endorse a plan calling for closer political and economic ties and more coordination in the fight against terrorism. (AP Photo/Achmad Ibrahim)
April 21st, 2005, 03:25 PM
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, center, and his wife Nane Lagergren, right, arrive for a preliminary meeting before the start of the Asia Africa Summit, Thursday, April, 21, 2005, in Jakarta, Indonesia. Annan is in town for the Asia Africa Summit where leaders of Asian and African nations are seeking to revitalize relations between developing nations and are set to endorse a plan calling for closer political and economic ties and more coordination in the fight against terrorism. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan (L) sits beside Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda before he briefs the delegations from Asia and Africa in Jakarta April 21, 2005. Annan is in Indonesia to attend the Asian-African Summit which will be open on Friday. REUTERS/Crack Palinggi
Myanmar's leader, Senior General Than Shwe (R), arrives at Halim airport in Jakarta April 21, 2005. Myanmar, under renewed pressure over its human rights record, said on Thursday it would not discuss democratic reforms at a meeting of Asian and African leaders in Indonesia that the junta's top general is attending. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
North Korean President of Parliament Kim Yong-nam (L) is greeted by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before a meeting at the Jakarta presidential palace April 21, 2005. Kim is in Indonesia to attend the Asia and Africa summit this week. REUTERS/Supri
Vietnam's President Tran Duc Luong (C) is greeted upon his arrival at Halim Airport in Jakarta April 21, 2005. Indonesia is hosting a summit of Asian and African leaders this week to mark the 50th anniversary of the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung. REUTERS/Darren Whiteside
April 22nd, 2005, 05:31 AM
People will still find something to complain about...
Japan PM to Apologize for Past, Eyes Hu Summit
JAKARTA (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi will apologize on Friday for the suffering Japan's past militarism inflicted on Asia, remarks that appeared aimed at soothing anti-Japanese outrage in China and South Korea.
The apology, contained in a copy of a speech to be delivered at an Asia-Africa conference in Jakarta, comes as Koizumi is seeking a summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao to try to mend frayed ties between Asia's economic powerhouses.
The comments echo previous apologies by Japanese leaders, but the setting -- a gathering of international leaders at an Asia-Africa summit -- was rare.
Thousands of Chinese have been protesting against what they see as Japan's failure to own up to its wartime past and are opposing Tokyo's bid for a permanent U.N. Security Council seat.
"In the past, Japan, through its colonial rule and aggression, caused tremendous damage and suffering to the people of many countries, particularly to those of Asian nations," Koizumi said in a copy of the speech released before delivery.
"Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility," Koizumi said, adding that Japan always had in mind "feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology."
Relations between Japan and China are at their worst in decades following three weekends of sometimes-violent anti-Japanese demonstrations throughout China.
All eyes are on whether Koizumi and Hu will hold a summit on the sidelines of the meeting in Indonesia.
Relations with China chilled after Koizumi took office in 2001 and began annual visits to Tokyo's Yasukuni Shrine, seen by China and South Korea as a symbol of Japan's past militarism.
Koizumi has not visited Yasukuni yet this year, but on Friday 168 Japanese members of parliament and their representatives paid their respects at the shrine.
Both Beijing and Tokyo sides have been making some soothing noises in an effort to prevent a further worsening of ties and damaging economic relations, which are now closer than ever.
China surpassed the United States as Japan's biggest trade partner in the fiscal year ended March 31, when Japan's overall trade with China including Hong Kong, was worth $213 billion -- 20 percent of the total.
Japanese Foreign Minister Nobutaka Machimura told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday he was "confident" the two-way talks would take place, probably on Friday.
On the Chinese side, the state-run Xinhua news agency played up remarks by Koizumi earlier this week reiterating that Japan would adhere to former Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama's 1995 apology on the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Murayama's statement expressed "deep remorse" and "heartfelt apology" for suffering and pain caused by Japan's past militarism, identical to Koizumi's remarks on Friday.
A meeting earlier this week between the two countries' foreign ministers yielded little, with Beijing refusing Tokyo's demand for an apology and compensation for the damage caused to Japanese property in the demonstrations.
Japanese officials have said Koizumi was unlikely to demand an apology from Beijing if a summit with Hu were to be held.
"He will not ask for an apology directly, but I think nobody would say the violence that has happened is a good thing, even for the Chinese people," a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said on Thursday.
"We hope China will express their frank view. We don't expect them to say the violence happened because of Japan's responsibility."
Chinese demonstrators pelted Japanese diplomatic missions and businesses in cities across China in the past three weekends, in protests against Japan's approval of textbooks that critics say whitewashes its wartime history and Tokyo's campaign for a permanent seat on the U.N. Security Council.
April 22nd, 2005, 05:34 AM
The world leader with the best hair arrives:
April 22nd, 2005, 07:39 AM
the tallest Asian leader?
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (L) is greeted by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono before the opening of the Asian-African leaders summit in Jakarta April 22, 2005. Leaders of three-quarters of the world's population had to ask hard questions about how Asia and Africa can develop together and not just reminisce at a commemorative Third World summit, Yudhoyono said on Friday. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni
April 22nd, 2005, 07:41 AM
Chinese President Hu Jintao (C) is greeted by Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (R) before the opening of the Asian-African leaders Summit in Jakarta on April 22, 2005. Leaders of three-quarters of the world's population had to ask hard questions about how Asia and African can develop together and not just reminisce at a commemorative Third World summit, Indonesian President Yudhoyono said on Friday. REUTERS/Enny Nuraheni
April 23rd, 2005, 03:20 AM
April 23rd, 2005, 04:32 AM
that Hamid Karzai guy is such an american pawn...
April 23rd, 2005, 06:43 AM
But he has style.
April 23rd, 2005, 07:30 AM
But he has style.
that, I can't deny :D
April 23rd, 2005, 07:52 AM
Another fashion icon
April 23rd, 2005, 08:12 AM
United Colors of Benetton.
April 23rd, 2005, 11:18 PM
A face off...
April 23rd, 2005, 11:31 PM
Gist of Asian-African new strategic partnership declaration
(Kyodo) _ Following is the gist of a joint declaration on the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership adopted Saturday at the summit in Jakarta among leaders of the two regions.
Leaders of the Asian and African regions:
-- agree to build cooperative relations aimed at reinvigorating the Bandung spirit of the 1955 Asian-African Conference and working toward a new Asian-African Strategic Partnership;
-- recognize that battles against colonialism and racism were successful, but there has been insufficient progress in social and economic areas;
-- adhere to the principle of self-determination of peoples and support the establishment of the state of Palestine; [Do they realize the implications of this?]
-- emphasize the importance of multilateral frameworks and reinforce multilateralism, including reforms of such organizations;
-- believe it is important to spread peace and culture of tolerance as well as to hold dialogue among civilizations to respect diversity;
-- promote economic development, recognizing that poverty, environmental destruction and natural disasters are common challenges;
-- promote democracy and protection of human rights;
-- see the need for practical cooperation between the two continents in fields such as trade, industry, investment and tourism;
-- agree to hold a summit once every four years and a ministerial meeting once every two
April 23rd, 2005, 11:59 PM
seems the summit itself was largely ceremonial, save for the few fruitful bilateral talks which it produced...
April 24th, 2005, 05:29 AM
This is weird...the AA conference is becoming something like a social gathering (or a fashion parade??) for these famous people.....hahaha :laugh:
Heads of state from over 40 Asian and African countries, including front row from left, China's President Hu Jintao, Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Yudhoyono's wife Kristiani Herawati, reenact their historic walk from 1955, along Asia Africa Street, Sunday, April 24, 2005, as part of the conclusion of the Asia Africa Summit in Bandung, Indonesia. Gathering at the birthplace of the Non-Aligned Movement, representatives of African and Asian nations closed out their summit Sunday with promises to boost economic and political relations and counter the threat of globalization. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)
Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi waves as he and over 40 heads of state from Asian and African countries reenact their historic walk from 1955, along Asia Africa Street, Sunday, April 24, 2005, in Bandung, Indonesia. Gathering at the birthplace of the Non-Aligned Movement, representatives of more than 80 African and Asian nations closed out their summit Sunday with promises to boost economic and political relations and counter the threat of globalization. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)
United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, center, and his wife Nane Lagergren, left, join heads of state from over 40 Asian and African countries in a reenactment of their historic walk from 1955, along Asia Africa Street, Sunday, April 24, 2005, as part of the conclusion of the Asia Africa Summit in Bandung, Indonesia. Gathering at the birthplace of the Non-Aligned Movement, representatives of African and Asian nations closed out their summit Sunday with promises to boost economic and political relations and counter the threat of globalization. (AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett)
April 24th, 2005, 06:10 AM
April 24th, 2005, 06:58 AM
Some day, Alvin, you and I can be there with them. You will be the economics minister for Indonesia. I will be like this white guy, whom no one has any idea why he is there:
April 24th, 2005, 07:52 AM
Some day, Alvin, you and I can be there with them. You will be the economics minister for Indonesia. I will be like this white guy, whom no one has any idea why he is there:
April 24th, 2005, 08:36 AM
Hes karzai's private bodyguard rite? I heard his bodyguards are americans from private security company.
April 24th, 2005, 08:41 AM
Yep, they are DynCorp.
April 25th, 2005, 10:21 AM
China's President Hu Jintao, left, speaks as his Indonesian counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono looks on, during a press conference after their meeting at the palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, Monday, April 25, 2005. China and Indonesia agreed Monday to boost bilateral trade by more than 50 percent over the next three years to US$20 billion (euro15.3 billion), as the energy-rich archipelago attempts to take advantage of China's booming economy. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)
April 26th, 2005, 09:37 PM
Megawati is in South Africa right now to receive an honour her fatherfrom the South African government. It's to honour his contribution toward the fight against coloniolism and the creation of NAM and the bandung conference. Got a pic of me and her, well, her and a huge group with me in there. As soon as I get a chance, I'll post it here.