South China Sea row on agenda during Asean-China summit in Singapore – DFA
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and China will tackle developments in the South China Sea amid Beijing’s continued reclamation and militarization in the disputed sea during the Asean-China Summit in Singapore next week, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Friday.
“We are quite sure that the South China Sea, as I’ve mentioned before, would be one of those regional developments that would be taken up in the Summit,” Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Junever Mahilum-West said in a Palace briefing.
Mahilum-West said the Philippines has assumed the coordinatorship of the Asean-China dialogue partnership from 2018-2021.
The DFA official did not disclose particular South China Sea issues to be raised during the summit “but for sure there’s going to be discussion on the South China Sea.”
President Rodrigo Duterte will be in Singapore on November 13 to 15 to attend the 33rdrd Asean Summit and Related Summits in Singapore.
During the summits, Mahilum-West said Asean leaders were expected to discuss on priority areas of cooperation in the region, which includes counterterrorism, violent extremism, illegal drugs, trafficking, infrastructure development, and business among others.
Mahilum-West said there are around four to five countries who have requested to have bilateral meetings with the President.
“Yes, there are a number of countries. But since arrangements are still being made, I think it’s better if I won’t mention them yet,” she said. /muf
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