ASEAN gives Beijing a pass on South China Sea dispute, cites ‘improving cooperation’

Chaanelnewsasia

30 Apr 2017 11:40AM (Updated: 30 Apr 2017 03:30PM)

MANILA: Southeast Asian countries took a softer stance on South China Sea disputes during a weekend summit, according to a statement issued on Sunday, which went easy on China by avoiding tacit references to its building and arming of its manmade islands.

A chairman’s statement of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) was released about 12 hours after the summit ended, and dropped references to “land reclamation and militarization” included in the text issued at last year’s meeting, and in an earlier, unpublished version seen by Reuters on Saturday.

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders in metro Manila

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