Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned Beijing to back off from a disputed island in the South China Sea, warning of possible military action if China "touches" it amid rising tensions over the key waterway.
United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday vowed to defend the Philippines against "armed attack" in the disputed South China Sea, in Washington's starkest warning yet against Chinese claims to most of the strategic waterway.
The South China Sea’s Code Of Conduct (COC) will likely be on the agenda at this week’s ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat, but analysts do not expect any major breakthroughs to be reached in Chiang Mai.
Verbal warnings, strongly worded statements and freedom of navigation operations (FONOPs) – all seem to have fallen on deaf ears as Beijing continues its pursuit of militarising islands in the disputed South China Sea.
Chinese President Xi Jinping called his visit Tuesday to long-time United States (US) ally the Philippines a "milestone", as he aims to boost blossoming ties on the promise of billions of dollars in backing for mega-projects.
Cambodia will not allow foreign military bases on its soil, strongman premier Hun Sen said Monday, swatting away United States (US) concerns about a possible Chinese naval site near hotly contested seas.
China and Southeast Asian states will hold their first joint maritime exercises next week, officials said Friday, in a move aimed at easing tensions but which may spark United States (US) alarm.