Philippines admits wanting land reclamation, militarization out of ASEAN communique

Peace and Freedom

Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano gestures during a news conference following the conclusion of the 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting (AMM) and Related Meetings at the Philippine International Convention Center in suburban Pasay city southeast of Manila, Philippines, Tuesday Aug.8, 2017. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines’ top diplomat on Tuesday admitted that he did not want to include concerns on China’s land reclamation and militarization activities in the South China Sea in the ASEAN foreign ministers’ joint communique.

The joint communique issued Sunday evening, however, turned out to mention “non-militarization” and “self-restraint” among the conduct of parties in the disputed waters.

READ: ASEAN stresses self-restraint, non-militarization in South China Sea

The statement appears to be softer than the joint communique issued last year under the chairmanship of Laos. That communique expressed grave concern over…

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