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China, Vietnam reach consensus on appropriately handling contested South China Sea

14 November 2017, 04:09 | Taylor George

Trump offers to mediate in protracted South China Sea feud

US President Donald J Trump waves goodbye from the door of the Air Force One plane before departing from Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi Vietnam 12 Nov 2017. Reuters

LaVar Ball later released a statement about the allegations against LiAngelo: "It is a very unfortunate situation that the Ball family and UCLA has to deal with at this particular time".

Despite unresolved issues, discussions between ASEAN and China have improved, Cayetano said. For one, China has steadfastly opposed what it calls U.S. meddling in the disputes and has balked at the U.S. Navy's incursions into what Beijing considers its territorial waters in the South China Sea.

"It is in our collective interest to avoid miscalculations that could lead to escalation of tensions".

The Chinese leader, however, would not back down on Beijing's territorial claim, Mr Duterte said, and justified his decision not to immediately demand Chinese compliance with a ruling by a UN-linked tribunal that invalidated China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea on historical grounds.

He said Mr Xi assured him of China's peaceful intentions in the strategic waterway, where Beijing, the Philippines, Vietnam and three other governments have overlapping claims.

This is ASEAN and China's biggest milestone for the past 15 years in crafting a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

"The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war".

Duterte has grown closer to China since he took office past year and Vietnam has emerged as Beijing's main challenger in the area.

China, Taiwan and four ASEAN member states-Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam-have overlapping claims in the waterway, which straddles busy global sea lanes and potentially has vast undersea deposits of oil and gas.

China's Xinhua news agency said China and Vietnam had agreed to properly handle maritime issues and strive to maintain peace and stability.

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The disputes are expected to get the spotlight at the summit, along with the North Korean nuclear threat and terrorism.

However no timeframe was announced for an actual code.

We'll update this story as it continues to develop. After Trump's entreaties, Jinping reportedly said he would look into it and make sure the players were treated fairly and expeditiously.

"I am not saying there are no problems; I am saying it is getting better", he added.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang.

When he raised concerns over China's increasing military capability in the South China Sea, Mr Duterte said Mr Xi replied, "No, it's nothing".

The media was ushered out of the venue before they could hear the response of the Australian Prime Minister. It is then unclear how different this will be from the similarly non-legally binding DOC.

Contempt for China runs deep in Vietnam, a country that was colonized by China for almost 1,000 years.

The US and China are both calling for a peaceful resolution but take contrasting positions in most other aspects of the conflict. About $3-trillion in goods passes through the sea each year.

Duterte also thanked Bolkiah for hosting a number of Filipinos in Brunei and treating them as their own.



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