More teaching of ASEAN languages urged

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BANGKOK, Dec 17 — The Thai Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Department of ASEAN Affairs recommended more teaching of ASEAN member states languages in the lead-up to the ASEAN Community formation.

Busadee Santipitaks, department deputy director-general, told a seminar on Thailand’s preparation for the ASEAN Community organized by Bangkok’s Thammasat University that as few Thai people and teachers speak the languages of neighboring countries, there should be more courses on ASEAN languages together with more English language teaching.

Although there had not been any significant military confrontation in Southeast Asia for some years, Ms Busadee said, disputes in the South China Sea and North Korea’s nuclear weapons programmes should be monitored and their impacts on ASEAN should be assessed.

Thailand as a coordinator between China and ASEAN should find ways to relieve regional conflicts and promote cooperation between both parties, Mrs Busadee said.

As the ASEAN Community would be formed on Dec 31, 2015, she said Thailand was 85 per cent prepared for the group’s upgrade.

Thammasat University Rector Somkit Lertpaithoon said the university would exchange students and share knowledge with the top three universities in other ASEAN member states.