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Yasay to bring up South China Sea in ASEAN meeting

Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay shares a light moment with President Rodrigo R. Duterte during a meeting at the Music Room in Malacañan Palace on July 19. President Duterte dismissed rumors that Yasay will be replaced and expressed his confidence on the Secretary. PPD/King Rodriguez

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. is set to share the country's perspectives on the developments in the South China Sea in the upcoming ASEAN Foreign Ministers' Meeting this weekend.

The Foreign Affairs chief  will attend his first Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Vientiane, Laos from July 23 to 26.

Laos is hosting the Foreign Ministers' Meeting as chair of the ASEAN this year.

Yasay will also share the Philippines' perspectives on ASEAN community building and pressing issues in the region such as extremism, human trafficking, illegal drugs and climate change.

The Foreign Affairs secretary will also attend ministerial meetings of the East Asia Summit including the ASEAN Post-Ministerial Conference with China, India, Canada, Australia and the United States.

Yasay will also have bilateral meetings with several of his counterparts from other nations to discuss common concerns on global and regional issues.

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The Foreign Affairs chief earlier attended the Asia-Europe meeting in Mongolia where he had an opportunity to talk with his Chinese counterpart.

According to Yasay, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered to open bilateral talks with the Philippines outside the ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration on the South China Sea dispute.

However, Yasay rejected Wang's offer, citing that it was not consistent with the country's Constitution and national interests.

The arbitral tribunal based in The Hague, Netherlands concluded that China violated the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea by constructing artificial islands in the Philippines' exclusive economic zone.

READ: Philippines rejects talks not based on arbitral ruling; China warns of confrontation

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