Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

China to build 'shared future' with 'good friend' ASEAN, Chinese premier says

It will be the first meeting between the two leaders following a proposal to have a quadrilateral alliance among India the US Japan and Australia Bello hopes ASEAN will abide to protect migrant workers
Bennie Garza | 14 November, 2017, 13:21

State leaders, ministers and other high-ranking officials from 10 ASEAN countries, China, Japan and South Korea meet annually to discuss cooperation and major global and regional issues. If I can help in any way, I'm a very good mediator and a very good arbitrator.

Trump's comments come ahead of a state visit yesterday afternoon by Chinese President Xi Jinping who will meet with top communist leaders.

Four ASEAN members - the Philippines, Brunei, Malaysia, and Vietnam - have overlapping claims with China in the strategic waterway where about $3 billion in goods pass annually.

"Let us overcome the complex challenges including protectionist and soft center approaches, polarization, and climate change", Moon said in Korean.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday that he was prepared to mediate between claimants to the South China Sea, which include Vietnam and China.

Trump was speaking in Vietnam, which has become the most vocal opponent of China's claims and its construction and militarisation of artificial islands in the sea.

Mr Trump's offer faces major obstacles, as China has steadfastly opposed what it calls United States meddling in the disputes and is unhappy about the U.S. navy's incursions into what Beijing considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in was set to attend a series of regional meetings on Tuesday involving the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and its partners. In 2014, China moved an oil rig into waters off Vietnam's coast, sparking violent protests in several Vietnamese cities.

The situation in the South China Sea was generally stable and heading in the right direction with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, he said.

But Vietnam's trade surplus remains an irritant for the Trump administration.

"Deglobalization and protectionism are on the rise", Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told the gathering in his opening remarks.

China initially agreed in 2002 to begin talks on a code, but delayed doing so while carrying out its expansionist strategy.

The next step is for ASEAN and China to start formal consultations and negotiations for the actual Code of Conduct, and the earliest that talks on this can start is February 2018, the diplomat said.

Leaders from China, the United States and seven other nations are joining ASEAN at its annual summit.

The Philippines had for many years stood alongside Vietnam as one of the region's strongest opponents to Chinese expansionism.

This comes after the ASEAN-China Summit on Monday, as part of the 31st ASEAN Summit and Related Summits hosted by the Philippines this year.

But the Philippines, after President Rodrigo Duterte took office a year ago, decided not to use the ruling to pressure China. But he said his tactics had eased tensions and opened the door to dialogue.

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