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ASEAN Foreign Ministers Discuss South China Sea, Economic Cooperation

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The top diplomats of China, Japan, South Korea, and the member nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have been discussing disputes in the South China Sea and economic cooperation at a meeting in Indonesia, reports said Thursday (July 13).

China’s foreign minister, Qin Gang (秦剛), was not present in Jakarta due to ill health, but the communist country was represented by Wang Yi (王毅), its top foreign policy official. Wang was expected to meet United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday (July 14), after the two talked in Beijing last month.

At the ASEAN+3 meetings on Thursday, ministers were set to discuss China’s aggressive behavior in the South China Sea, per CNA. Tension around Taiwan and the importance of freedom of navigation on key supply lines for Japan and South Korea were important factors in the regional unease about Beijing.

Several ASEAN members, including Vietnam and the Philippines, are also facing Chinese pressure on their territorial claims to parts of the sea. The number of confrontations between naval vessels from various countries has been increasing, with China a key factor.

Source : TaiwanNews