Southeast Asian nations feud over China sea claims

Claudine Rigal
Août 13, 2017

He said those conditions include a "stable situation" in the South China Sea and non-interference by "outside parties", an apparent reference to the United States.

Southeast Asian countries participating in the forum had earlier issued a statement, expressing concern about North Korea's test of what is believed to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.

He noted that ASEAN has played an important role in securing regional peace and stability since its founding half a century ago, and it has become a force that represents the world's developing multipolar nature.

The two leaders also welcomed the U.N. Security Council resolution that unanimously passed 15-0.

Zhang Baohui, a mainland security expert based in Hong Kong, said China questions whether Singapore is honest when it says it didn't want to choose between the United States and China.

Robespierre Bolivar, spokesman for the Philippine foreign ministry, said the statement was "consistent" with the regional bloc's position on the Korean Peninsula.

At the ASEAN-plus-three meeting, the 13 countries also discussed how to address threats from North Korea.

On U.S. -led calls to expel Pyongyang from ARF, he said the forum operated on consensus and, for that to happen, all of its 27 members had to be on board.

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"Everyone is more open to negotiations", Cayetano told a news conference. He says they'll help the Philippines battle "an enemy that fights in a way that most people have never had to deal with". Malaysia, however, downgraded bilateral ties in February following the assassination on Malaysian soil of the half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

In 2002, China and ASEAN signed the "Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea", which advocated peacefully settling territorial disputes, based on worldwide law.

They say that Chinese representatives have told Singapore counterparts in private meetings over recent months that they don't want trouble for Beijing when Singapore takes over the annual leadership of the 10-nation group in 2018.

Japan will continue to press for the demilitarization of the sea, Kōno said at a meeting with his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha has hailed the achievements made during her first ASEAN Regional Forum. The ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strong autonomous sanctions measures on North Korea and will coordinate these sanctions and capacity building measures, including in the area of export control to detect and disrupt North Korean WMD proliferation networks. Beijing praised Tillerson for declaring the USA wasn't seeking regime change in North Korea.

Yet despite deeming North Korea a top security threat, the young Trump administration has struggled to find a strategy that differs significantly from what the US has tried in the past.

The U.S. drafted the sanctions resolution and negotiated it with China following North Korea's unprecedented test of an ICBM in July and a follow-up test weeks later. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings.

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