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Duterte to stress Philippines' stand on South China Sea in ASEAN meet

Patricia Lourdes Viray - Philstar.com
Duterte to stress Philippines' stand on South China Sea in ASEAN meet
In this November 6 photo, President Rodrigo Duterte holds a Cabinet meeting at Malacañang Palace. The president will be attending the 33rd Associated of Southeast Asian Nations Summit in Singapore this week.
STAR / Joven Cagande

MANILA, Philippines — In his forthcoming meeting with other Southeast Asian leaders, President Rodrigo Duterte is expected to reaffirm the Philippines' stand on the South China Sea.

In a statement released Monday, Malacañang said the president would engage leaders of ASEAN dialogue partners to "further enrich partnership in key areas of cooperation."

"The President will reiterate the Philippines' principled positions on matters concerning the South China Sea and transnational and transboundary issues such as terrorism, violent extremism, trafficking in persons, illicit drugs and disaster risk reduction and management," Malacañang said.

Duterte arrived in Singapore on Monday evening to attend the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits from November 12 to 15.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States Vice President Mike Pence will also attend the ASEAN summit in Singapore.

During the ASEAN summit in Manila last year, the 10-nation regional bloc and China have agreed to start the negotiations for the text of the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea.

China and several ASEAN member-states, including the Philippines, have overlapping claims in the disputed waterway.

In July 2016, The Hague-based Permanent Court of Arbitration issued a landmark ruling invalidating Beijing's nine-dash line claim over the South China Sea, part of which is the West Philippine Sea.

The ASEAN, under Philippine chairmanship in 2017, made no mention of China's expansive island-building activities in the contested waterway.

The chairman statement merely emphasized "non-militarization" and "self-restraint" among claimant states.

Related video:

ASEAN

RODRIGO DUTERTE

SINGAPORE

SOUTH CHINA SEA

WEST PHILIPPINE SEA

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