Southeast Asian unhappy over North Korea's missile tests - Cambodia

Issues before ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila

Issues before ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila

Trump's warning comes as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visits countries in Asia, where he attended a regional meeting in Manila at the weekend and urged Southeast Asia to cut back on ties with North Korea. After their meeting, they issued a joint statement that blasted aggressive actions in the contested offshore territories - without, of course, naming Beijing directly, in line with diplomatic practice.

He said China, for instance, set aside its insistence on a "non-legally binding" code of conduct (COC) on maritime disputes in the South China Sea.

The documents detailing the new framework have not been distributed to the public due to the sensitive provisions they contain, and when asked by journalists about their contents, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was evasive, saying: "we don't want to prejudge the result of those negotiations".

As a sign of China and ASEAN relations, the trade hit the Dollars 450 billion mark last year and the flight grew to 2,700 last year connecting China to the 10 ASEAN nations.

Xi made the pledge when sending congratulations on the 50th anniversary of Asean's founding in a message to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, whose country has Asean's rotating chairmanship this year. They (China) are not reclaiming land anymore. ASEAN failed to issue its customary statement on Saturday because of what diplomats said was disagreement about whether to make oblique references to China's rapid expansion of its defence capabilities on artificial islands in disputed waters.

But members such as Cambodia, a longtime China ally, and the Philippines, one of Beijing's more recent friends, rejected Vietnam's proposal to note in the communique the ASEAN's desire for a legally binding code. China wants otherwise and opposes mention of the contentious issues, including arbitration and a conflict-resolution arrangement, given its preference to solve the conflicts through one-on-one negotiation with its smaller rival claimants. The agreed framework "is a lowest-common-denominator effort".

We congratulate ASEAN on its 50th anniversary and look forward to continuing our partnership and friendship with the people and governments of Southeast Asia and the ASEAN Secretariat to advance peace, stability, and prosperity for all.

Vietnam alongside other countries also appealed to the partner countries and the global community to continue to support the efforts of ASEAN and China to fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties on the East Sea and push for early and result-oriented negotiations for an effective and legally-binding Code of Conduct of Parties on the East Sea.

The Philippines and Indonesia vetoed that.

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