ASEAN takes a stand on sea row: Duterte calls for mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs
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Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member-states have altered a statement to be issued at the end of group’s summit to include references to militarization and island-building in the South China Sea, the latest draft shows. Chinese embassy representatives in Manila had reportedly sought to influence the content of the communique by lobbying Philippine officials, two ASEAN diplomatic sources told Reuters. ASEAN references to the South China Sea issue typically do not name China. Beijing is extremely sensitive to anything it perceives as a veiled reference to its expansion of its seven man-made islands in the Spratly archipelago, including with hangers, runways, radars and missiles. The final version of the statement has yet to be agreed, but changes so far indicate ASEAN is resisting moves by China to keep its contentious activities in the strategic waterway off ASEAN’s official agenda.
Kabiling. G. (2017, April 30). ASEAN takes a stand on sea row: Duterte calls for mutual respect, non-interference in internal affairs. Manila Bulletin, pp. 1, 8.
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