Trump seeks to strike diplomatic balance with Philippines' Duterte

The ASEAN Summit this year under the chairmanship of the Philippines would make a forward movement to the start of substantive negotiations with China for a Code of Conduct (CoC) that would prevent "escalation" of the maritime dispute in the South China Sea but there need not be any "non-adversarial" resolutions against Bejiing though.

The resource-rich disputed waters of the South China Sea have always been a bone of contention between the regional players - China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei.

Trump's Asian tour comes as the U.S. rallies for tougher sanctions against North Korea's nuclear program and ballistic missile tests.

The United States and its former colony, the Philippines, have been strategic allies since World War Two.

While Duterte's relationship with the USA was strained under the Obama administration, ties have improved since Trump took office earlier this year.

Progressive solons protested yesterday the arrival of United States President Donald Trump, as they warned President Duterte against "idolizing" the "No. 1 war-mongering fascist president of the world".

In a joint news conference, Quang said he had "shared my thoughts with (Trump) on the recent developments in this area and it is our policy to settle disputes in the South China Sea through peaceful negotiations, and with respect for diplomatic and legal process in accordance with worldwide law, including the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea".

"I was just 16 years old".

The framework will be endorsed by China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday, a diplomat from one of the regional bloc's countries said.

On a tour that has taken him to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, Trump and his team have repeatedly used the term "Indo-Pacific" instead of "Asia-Pacific" for the region, which some see as an effort to depict it as more than China-dominated. The South China Sea will likely be a hot topic throughout the summit, as most claimants will be attending.

The two leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in the Vietnamese resort city of Danang. The country claims a huge swathe of the South China Sea. "And it is to the interest of everyone that countries in the region, including the claimants to the disputed islands and waters of the West Philippine Sea, should recognize the principle of freedom of navigation", Roque added.

Among those who will be in Manila for the ASEAN meetings are Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Premier Dmitry Medvedev and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

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