China Pressures Singapore to Keep ASEAN Quiet on South China Sea

Southeast Asian nations body repeats North Korea stance

Southeast Asian nations body repeats North Korea stance

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum in Manila on Monday that Beijing completed its South China Sea reclamation activities two years ago.

Armed with extraordinary new UN sanctions, nations yesterday raced to ensure that North Korea's biggest trading partners actually carry them out, an elusive task that has undercut past attempts to strong-arm Pyongyang into abandoning its nuclear weapons. In a news conference earlier in the day, Tillerson said the United States is ready to talk with North Korea if it stops conducting tests of ballistic missiles, the latest ones considered capable of reaching the US mainland.

Bang was in the Philippines with a North Korean delegation that includes North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Since then, ASEAN has accepted Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam as member states.

In the joint communiqué, the Asean foreign ministers commended China's growing role in the region and expressed expectations for more high-level dialogue and higher level of economic integration.

After a typhoon washed out the bridge in October a year ago, China began to undertake reclamation anew on the southern end of North Island and "built a retaining wall around the [2.73 hectares] of new land to prevent further erosion".

Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said Cayetano's approach on how to deal with China' extensive claim to the resource-rich waters was just "overly-interpreted".

"We felt the readiness of our USA colleagues to continue dialogue", Lavrov said.

North Korea regularly uses flamboyant language to make threats against the USA and the West. "On this day, therefore, we pay tribute to the founding fathers whose patriotism went beyond borders, and whose idealism drew our nations and our peoples closer together", continued Pres. Duterte.

Diplomats say they believe that Beijing has used its influence over countries who have chaired ASEAN in the past to dilute the group's stand on the South China Sea row, potentially one of the most volatile disputes in Asia.

Lavrov told reporters that he believed the United States would continue a dialogue with Russian Federation despite what both sides have described as the worst tensions since the Cold War ended.

He urged the North to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

Foreign Minister Alan Peter Cayetano met Monday with his North Korean counterpart to convey ASEAN's deep concern about tensions on the Korean Peninsula following Pyongyang's recent missile tests.

"The COC not only serves regional trust-building, but also sets a foundation for long-term peace and stability in the South China Sea", he told Xinhua. China voted in favor of sanctions that promise to cut North Korea's annual export revenue by a third, going along with the other members of the UN Security Council.

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