Daniel C. Dennett: A Difference That Makes a Difference
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Russia is offering agricultural land to Southeast Asian nations to grow crops and help secure reliable food supplies, part of wider efforts to foster trade and investment ties in new markets.
“We suggested today to companies in the region to enter the Russian market given its large scale and to establish themselves to produce food for your own supply,” Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Slepnyov said yesterday in an interview in Manado, Indonesia, where he is attending a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations trade ministers.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton heads for talks with counterparts from China, North Korea, Pakistan and more than 20 other nations to discuss a range of security issues across Asia. From tensions in the South China Sea to a fractured relationship with Pakistan and ongoing uncertainty on the Korean peninsula, the Asean Regional Forum is the only gathering that brings such a diverse group face to face.
The meeting will test how far the U.S. goes in backing its Asian allies in territorial disputes with China, which last year labelled Clinton's comments on the topic ``virtually an attack." Eased tensions between the world's biggest militaries may lead to greater cooperation and help deter terrorist threats, North Korean aggression and incidents over oil and gas resources in the South China Sea.