Japan, US, Australia Urge the Philippines, China to Abide by Arbitral Ruling

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"It's not reflective of the present position".

"I don't want to include it".

But she added China's support for the United Nations resolution "shows that they realise that this is a huge problem that they need to take on".

The Philippines also avoided a pointed reference to the 2016 United Nations arbitral ruling that favored Manila over China.

The 50-year-old regional organization has been criticized for its consensus style of decision-making, with analysts saying it hampers effective decision-making.

In a front-page commentary in its overseas edition, the ruling Communist Party's People's Daily newspaper wrote: "Sanctions to the greatest possible extent must avoid causing negative impacts to ordinary people and to third countries, and avoid bringing disaster to the country in question's normal and legal trade and business exchanges with the outside world, people's normal lives and the humanitarian situation".

Prior to the release of the joint statement, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi had warned any interference from "outside parties" could jeopardise negotiations over the code of conduct. It noted that they have talked about developing rules of behavior for countries with claims to the South China Sea. Tillerson is here to attend the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and its Dialogue Partners.

However, an initial draft of the statement this year obtained by the media omitted that provision.

He said China had long finished its land reclamation project.

Cayetano reiterated that while they have the same goals as the previous administration, they are using a different strategy. Aside from this issue, the two diplomats reportedly agreed on the need to improve relations and promised to work closely together to resolve the North Korean nuclear issue.

Issues before ASEAN ministers meeting in Manila

Cayetano said any instability in the region is "bad" and "wrong". "How can we do that without also understanding them?"

Talks offered by the South were brushed off by Mr. Ri. "As the [North Korea] threat grows, as the threat changes, we will adapt to it", he told reporters Monday, noting the security relationship between Washington and Seoul has repeatedly adapted and changed in the past.

The United States did not seek regime change, the collapse of the regime, an accelerated reunification of the peninsula or an excuse to send the USA military into North Korea, Tillerson said. Our policy is friends to all and enemy to none.

In a telephone call requested by Seoul, Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in committed jointly to "fully implement all relevant resolutions and to urge the global community to do so as well", the White House said.

Critics and even other nations, however, may have reservations.

He had served as foreign minister for four years and eight months.

"We are good friends [with] China".

The Asean diplomats also cited the adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons last July 7 by the United Nations in asking North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme.

"The President has stated on many occasions that the Philippines will respect the arbitral tribunal and will raise it with relevant sides at the proper time". That suggests that Washington has been trying to steer ASEAN members toward taking a stronger stance against China: a welcome sign of engagement after the USA has lately seemed missing in action on the dispute.

Flooding possible Saturday into Sunday
The coverage of storms will increase again by Monday afternoon, and this looks to be the trend through most of the week. The heavier and more extensive rain areas will move east tomorrow night with some rain lingering overnight.

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