Trump arrives in Philippines for ASEAN summit

Nov 13, 2017, 01:20
Trump arrives in Philippines for ASEAN summit

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday he can envision the US and North Korea agreeing to hold talks at some point as a precursor to formal negotiations.

Whilst in Vietnam, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping also discussed the South China Sea issue with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, which has claims in the region.

Riot police used water canon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the US embassy in Manila on Sunday, just a few hours before the arrival of President Donald Trump in the Philippines for a regional summit and the last leg of his Asia tour. Both Trump and Xi were following on from the latest APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit that concluded Saturday in the coastal city of Danang, 470 miles (750 kilometers) south of Hanoi. "I am a very good mediator", Trump told Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang earlier on Sunday.

The ASEAN Summit this year under the chairmanship of the Philippines would make a forward movement to the start of substantive negotiations with China for a Code of Conduct (CoC) that would prevent "escalation" of the maritime dispute in the South China Sea but there need not be any "non-adversarial" resolutions against Bejiing though.

"I can help mediate and arbitrate". ASEAN meets with China and the US early in the week ahead of a joint meeting with the leaders of nations including the US, China, Japan, Australia, India and Russian Federation.

Trump is expected to arrive on Sunday. Trump has previously praised Duterte's handling of his nation's drug problems.

The South China Sea dispute will be one of the major issues at the East Asia Summit in The Philippines this week.

China claims nearly the entire South China Sea, with competing claims from Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei.

His final stop is the Philippines. The DOC has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven man-made islands in disputed waters, three of them equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars.

"Ladies and gentlemen, I sang an invited duet with Ms. Pilita Corrales upon the orders of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States", the Philippine president revealed.

India has been supporting freedom of navigation and access to resources in the South China Sea in accordance with principles of worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Ahead of the annual summit of the ASEAN, an influential grouping of 10 South East Asian countries, a number of diplomats said the thorny issue of China's aggressive military buildup in the South China Sea may be one of the focus areas of the deliberations on Tuesday.

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