Learning English - Words in the News
21 June, 2004 - Published 11:32 GMT
Malaysian PM calls for East Asian Community
The Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has called for the formation of an East Asian community of nations similar to the European Union to give the region a bigger say in world affairs. This report from Jonathan Kent:
Using a boxing analogy, Mr Abdullah described East Asia as a heavyweight forced to fight as a featherweight. He told delegates to the second East Asia Congress that the region’s future too often rested on decisions taken in New York, Washington or Geneva.
The Malaysian leader called for the ten-member Association of South-East Asian nations to sign a formal pact with China, Japan and South Korea to work towards the formation of an East Asian Community, using the European Union as its benchmark. However, he conceded that even with persistence and good fortune, it would take at least two generations for Asia to match European levels of cooperation.
As a step on that route, he suggested setting up a regional monetary fund to supplement the work of the IMF.
Jonathan Kent, BBC News, Kuala Lumpur.
a formal pact