South China Sea dispute overshadows ASEAN defense ministers meeting

World Today

A meeting of Southeast Asian defense ministers in Malaysia has concluded without a joint statement being issued.

The 2-day meeting ended much like the way it began, with no clear position from the 10 member group on how it would deal with conflicts arising in disputed waters.

Tensions over the South China Sea threatened to overshadow the regional defense summit. In particular, fear of a looming naval confrontation between the US and China.

Neither country is a member of the Southeast Asian regional bloc, but defense officials from both nations participated in the ASEAN meetings.

ASEAN members, particularly those with rival claims to the sea, were clearly concerned about Chinese activities.

Beijing, last week, warned the U.S. against unnecessary provocations, after an American warship sailed near a Chinese-built islet at sea.

CCTV’S Roee Ruttenberg reports from Washington.

South China Sea dispute overshadows ASEAN defense ministers meeting

South China Sea dispute overshadows ASEAN defense ministers meeting