Marcha 19, 2018

Duterte pushes China-backed trade pact on Asean's 50th anniversary

10 Agosto 2017, 01:17 | Dolorita Barahona

Asean diplomats issue strong rebuke, warning to North Korea | SunStar

Australia New Zealand vow to enhance ties with ASEAN

Wang said the start of talks may be announced by the heads of state of China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations at their annual summit in the Philippines in November if Beijing's conditions are met.

The U.N. Security Council was set to vote on Saturday on a USA -drafted resolution that aims to slash by a third North Korea's $3 billion annual export revenue over Pyongyang's two ICBM tests in July.

"The ministers called on the global community to implement strictly (the U.N.) resolutions and impose additional diplomatic and economic measures" to urge North Korea to "abandon its current threatening and provocative path and immediately take steps to denuclearize", the statement said.

From China's point of view, the most substantial progress made at the ASEAN foreign ministers' meetings and related meetings was that with the joint efforts of China and ASEAN countries, the situation in the South China Sea has been stabilized, Wang told reporters after attending the meetings.

The two primary issues at the formal sessions are North Korea and the South China Sea.

The ministers condemned in the strongest terms North Korea's unlawful pursuit of a nuclear weapons program and unprecedented ballistic missile activity since past year, including the launches of intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 4 and July 28, 2017.

The U.S. also is continuing to call for a legally binding mechanism to prevent conflicting territorial claims in the South China Sea from erupting into violent confrontations. All countries are now banned from importing North Korean coal, iron, lead and seafood products, and from letting in more North Korean labourers whose remittances help fund Kim Jong Un's regime.

"We think all of the countries in the region should agree that while they have this diplomatic process going on that they would stop improving or expanding or militarizing any of their outposts", Thornton said. "We're working this one hard, and a lot of other countries care about it just as much as we do".

If the arrival of Tillerson in the region was meant to indicate a renewed interest in Southeast Asia for the Trump administration, the bloc's statement on the South China Sea indicates it may well be too late. "This is the most important consensus we have reached".

China on Sunday scored a diplomatic coup in its campaign to weaken regional resistance against its sweeping claims to the South China Sea when Southeast Asian nations issued a diluted statement on the dispute and agreed to Beijing's terms on talks.

Tillerson said he asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov "several clarifying questions" and said the US will respond by September 1.

The regional bloc, which was created by five Southeast Asian countries as a regional bulwark against communism, now has 10 members.

Tensions between China and Vietnam have increased in recent months over disputed territory in areas of the South China Sea that are rich in oil and gas.

However, few officials and experts believe the negotiations will go smoothly and lead to new rules of behaviour in the disputed sea anytime soon. Then, President Trump himself will come to Manila.

According to metropolitan Manila police chief Oscar Albayalde, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has shown disdain for security lockdowns that inconvenience the public.

A global pressure campaign on North Korea propelled by sharp new United Nations sanctions received a welcome boost Sunday from China, the North's economic lifeline, as Beijing called on its neighbour to halt its missile and nuclear tests.

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