South China Sea takes center stage on final day of US-ASEAN summit
U.S. President Barack Obama and allies from Southeast Asia will turn their attention to China on Tuesday on the second day of a summit intended to improve commercial links and provide a united front on maritime disputes with Beijing.
After a first day focused on trade and economic issues, Obama and his counterparts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will try to arrive at a common position on the South China Sea during a second day of talks at Sunnylands, a California resort.
China and several ASEAN states have conflicting and overlapping claims in the South China Sea, but not all the Southeast Asian nations agree on how to handle them.
U.S. officials want the summit to produce a statement calling for China to follow international law and handle disputes peacefully.
“We will be continuing to work with our ASEAN partners on a potential statement that we might issue together,” White House national security adviser Susan Rice told reporters on Monday.
“We obviously have issued such statements in the past with ASEAN, and in it we consistently underscored our shared commitment to a peaceful resolution of disputes, freedom of commerce and navigation, the rule of law, and the necessity of disputes being resolved through peaceful, legal means.” Read More