Duterte: Asean, Pyongyang would be a 'good dialogue partner'

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The 50-year-old regional organization has been criticized for its consensus style of decision-making, with analysts saying it hampers effective decision-making. The statement comes just two days after the sanctions were announced.

Manila: Southeast Asian foreign ministers ended an impasse on Sunday over how to address disputes with China in the South China Sea, issuing a communique that called for militarisation to be avoided and noting concern about island-building. ASEAN may have summoned the nerve to give China a rhetorical slap on the wrist, but Beijing still achieved its main objective at the summit: the negotiation of a wishy-washy, noncommittal "framework" for a code of conduct in the South China Sea, which no one seriously expects to be legally binding.

Mr Sokhonn questioned why land reclamation had been introduced in later drafts.

"So there were three issues that we agreed on the words land reclamation", he said.

The Philippines - the recipient of billions of dollars of investment and aid from China - has played down the verdict of a UN-backed tribunal a year ago that found China's sweeping claim to the sea had no legal basis.

'It is not easy, but it is a direction that we need to work together towards, ' he said.

"What I do know is that the President welcomed the opportunity for dialogue in the Asean Regional Forum (ARF)", Cayetano said. "My understanding is that we welcome them here, welcome to dialogue but it is in the honest hope that they will only listen", he added.

After the adoption of the framework, China President Xi Jinping lauded Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, ASEAN's current chairman, and notified him that China is ready to bring greater closeness to the China-ASEAN community of shared destiny. The administration is also mulling joint development activities with China in the area.

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Tillerson is offering his most specific outline to date of what preconditions the US has for talks with Pyongyang. He was apparently referring to the United States, which China has, for the longest time, accused of meddling in what it says is an Asian dispute that should be resolved only by the countries involved.

He says the North is "ready to teach the US a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force".

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the USS John S. McCain traveled close to Mischief Reef in the Spratly Islands, among a string of islets, reefs and shoals.

Critics and even other nations, however, may have reservations.

Earlier this week the United States, Australia, and Japan collectively denounced China's continuing efforts to control the South China Sea and its increasingly vital shipping lanes.

He had served as foreign minister for four years and eight months. "We will decide what is good for us, what strategy is good for us, because we are a sovereign nation", he added.

"We expect nations not to tell us what to do", Foreign Secretary said at a news conference.

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