Why Philippines is defending China at ASEAN meet?

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Why Philippines is defending China at ASEAN meet?

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

"Compared with previous ASEAN statements overall, the current paragraphs provide a soft closure to ASEAN's handling of the South China Sea disputes", said the University of the Philippines professor.

"Terrorism and violent extremism endanger the peace, stability, and security of our region because these threats know no boundary", he said.

The ASEAN Chairman's statement released Thursday "stressed the need to adhere to the peaceful resolution of disputes, in accordance with universally recognized principles of worldwide law and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)".

"We reaffirmed our commitment to the full and effective implementation of the DOC in its entirety, and the importance of undertaking confidence-building and preventive measures to enhance, among others, trust and confidence amongst parties", the statement said. "It means South China Sea is no longer a problem and (it) gives no reason for external powers to be involved".

"We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues", Duterte said at a business conference.

The Times argues that Trump received a "tepid response" from both Vietnam and the Philippines for his offers, and that China has no desire to involve him in the matter, "obviously". It declared the Kalayaan (Spratly) Islands, Panganiban (Mischief) Reef, Ayungin (Second Thomas) Shoal and Recto (Reed) Bank in South China Sea to be all within the EEZ of the Philippines. The Philippines is the outgoing chair of the ASEAN.

"We discussed the matters relating to the South China Sea and took note of the improving relations between ASEAN and China", the statement says.

On Tuesday, the Global Times, a Chinese state outlet, published a column accusing Trump of making a "boastful offer" that could destabilize the region, which Beijing alleges is now peaceful despite growing alarm from the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia that China may box them out of their own sovereign waters. China continues to create islands and build structures in the disputed waters, blatantly ignoring the ruling of the International Arbitral Tribunal in July 2016.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano is at the airport to bid Li goodbye.

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