Surging tensions over maritime borders in the South China Sea dominated a meeting of Southeast Asia’s regional bloc on Saturday, presenting a challenging diplomatic debut for Burma, also known as Myanmar, as it hosts the talks for the first time.
Foreign Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), gathering before a leaders’ summit on Sunday, “expressed serious concerns over the on-going developments” in the disputed waters, after recent confrontations pitted Vietnam and the Philippines against China
They called on claimants to “resolve disputes by peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force”.
The row will be a delicate test for Burma, a longtime ally of China that relied on its larger neighbour’s political support and investment during long years in the diplomatic wilderness under junta rule.
At the summit, which ends on Sunday, countries including Vietnam and the Philippines are pushing for a strong statement…
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