Asean leaders hopeful for consensus over terrorial disputes

Bernadette Carreon – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Bangkok, Thailand (4E) – The Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders will be pushing for a consensus on the territorial conflict with China.

This as the ASEAN countries has appointed its first secretary-general from Vietnam, a one-party communist state and one of four ASEAN members in conflict with China.

Le Luong Minh Tuesday officially takes over the rotating position of ASEAN secretary-general from Thailand’s Surin Pitsuwan.

China is in territorial dispute with ASEAN members Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Taiwan. China is claiming the territory which is believed to be rich in oil, gas and fish.

Meanwhile the Philippines’ The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said that it will continue to assert the Philippines’ claims to contested islands in theSouth China Sea this year.

China and Philippines are both claiming the Spratly chain of islands and Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal.

China, however, said it would continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution. But China has beefed up oil and gas exploration through sea patrols.

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