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CNA: ASEAN countries will not side US or China: ESM Goh
HAINAN, China: ASEAN countries will not take sides with either the US or China, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said on Monday.
Mr Goh made the remarks in a talk show with China's state television CCTV while he was in Hainan attending the Boao Forum for Asia.
He was responding to a question asking if ASEAN member nations had to take sides between the two economic and political powerhouses.
"We have our own core interest to look after and primarily we are all motivated by our own national interest," Mr Goh said. "Nobody would want to side China or the US. That is between the two countries."
"But we welcome more players into the region," Mr Goh added.
On the global economic outlook and the expected slowdown in China, Mr Goh said countries like Singapore will not be greatly affected as China next shifts its emphasis from exports to stimulating domestic consumption.
Mr Goh remarked: "It's just reduced by 0.5 per cent or 1 per cent, it's not very much. Will that have effect on countries in the region? Again we got to see what China is consuming.
"If China is consuming products which we also manufacture and export then there is the possibility we will not be affected very much."
The Boao Forum for Asia opens today, with key issues such as ASEAN's economic integration expected to be discussed.
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