Seeking smoother summit, ASEAN to skirt mention of South China Sea rulingPosted: September 5, 2016
Southeast Asian leaders are set to avoid references to a recent arbitration ruling that undermined China’s claims to the South China Sea, after omitting it from a joint statement at a summit this week over which Beijing’s influence looms large.
A draft communique of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) seen by Reuters on Monday listed eight points related to the South China Sea, but made no mention of a high-profile July ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration, which invalidated Beijing’s territorial claims.
The decision to exclude reference to the ruling represents a diplomatic victory for China, following ASEAN’s decision at its last meeting in July to turn down a U.S.-backed proposal to include the landmark ruling in the text.
Source: Reuters “Seeking smoother summit, ASEAN to skirt mention of South China Sea ruling”, full text of which can be viewed at http://www.reuters.com/article/us-asean-summit-idUSKCN11B1W7.
Note: This is Reuters report I quote here for readers’ information. It does not mean that I agree or disagree with the report’ views.