VLOG: Aquino blasts China at ASEAN summit
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Philippine President Benigno Aquino III repeatedly criticizes China's land reclamation in the South China Sea during his last Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit.
At the ASEAN summit and related events here, Aquino raises the dispute with fellow ASEAN leaders, and the group's partners.
Ayee Macaraig reports.
“The sea with many names” is the common refrain from Philippine President Benigno Aquino III here in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at a summit of Southeast Asian leaders.
While Aquino took pains not to discuss the South China Sea dispute as host of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation or APEC summit in the Philippines, here at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations or ASEAN meeting, the president raises the topic not just once but 5 times.
In the main ASEAN summit, and the bloc's summits with China, India, the United States, and the China, Japan and South Korea group,
Aquino is on a roll and repeatedly criticizes China's massive reclamation in the disputed sea.
But his most pointed statements come in the summit with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
In the closed-door remarks, he says Beijing must take the lead in finalizing a legally-binding Code of Conduct on the South China Sea as an older, richer and more powerful nation.
He also urges his fellow ASEAN leaders not to allow China to use force or threat to claim an entire sea.
Terrorism also dominates day one of the two-day summit.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak condemns the recent spate of attacks in the region and the world.
MALAYSIAN PRIME MINISTER
We are ever vigilant against a threat that is very real in our region. Local militants and groups such as Abu Sayyaf have sworn allegiance to the so-called Islamic State. It was they who cruelly murdered our countryman Bernard Then on Tuesday. It is the ideology propagated by these extremists that is the cause of this sadistic violence. We must not lose sight of the fact that the ideology itself must be exposed as the lie that it is, and vanquished for it is not Islamic. It cannot be.
From security issues, the discussion at ASEAN will turn to economics on day two as the leaders endorse the regional integration by year-end.
But with Aquino, the US, Japan and even India putting the sea row squarely on the agenda, the pressure is on China to ensure that its rhetoric on regional peace matches its actions on the ground and at sea.
Ayee Macaraig, Rappler, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — Rappler.com