Published: Sun, August 05, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

China, Southeast Asian states hold simulated naval drill

China, Southeast Asian states hold simulated naval drill

Pompeo unveiled the figure to reporters on the sidelines of a meeting of foreign ministers from 10-member ASEAN and other officials from around the world in Singapore.

Regarding the East Sea issue, the partner countries lauded an agreement between ASEAN and China on a single draft document on the negotiations on the Code of Conduct in the East Sea (COC).

Wang did not elaborate, but in the past, China has accused Washington of meddling in what it calls an Asian dispute.

Philippine Foreign Minister Alan Cayetano told reporters: "Of course, any strategy and new framework is always welcomed, but we always want to maintain Asean centrality".

US military ships and jets patrol the waters, a presence that Washington maintains is created to promote freedom of navigation and overflight.

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"Singapore and Asean stand ready to support our Laotian and Indonesian friends during this hard time", said Mr Lee.

In his comments, which came at the start of a meeting of Asean foreign ministers in Singapore, Lee also warned about escalating global trade tensions.

He added: "On security, we appreciate Asean's ongoing efforts to promote peace and stability in the region, support the rule of law in the South China Sea and to strictly enforce sanctions on North Korea".

Later Friday, China announced that it will impose additional 25 percent tariffs on 5,207 U.S. imports, worth $60 billion annually, if the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump goes ahead with the $200 billion new tariffs.

The Asean-China dialogue has been used by both sides as a means to reduce tension and work towards the full and effective implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties (DOC) in the South China Sea, which mandates the early conclusion of the COC.

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"The visit provides a great opportunity for both Malaysia and the United States of America to discuss a wide range of bilateral, regional and worldwide issues of mutual interest", said a Wisma Putra statement.

Some of the ministers, however, were expected to repeat their concerns over China's transformation of seven disputed reefs into man-made islands, including three with runways, which now resemble small cities armed with weapons systems, including surface-to-air missiles.

In the draft text, Beijing suggests that China and the 10 Asean states should carry out joint military exercises regularly.

The ministers confirmed that they will speed up negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, by which ASEAN is trying to forge trade partnerships with Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

The US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo attended the meeting with the ASEAN nations also stated that the US will continue to mount pressure on North Korea.

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