China, Vietnam leaders reach South China Sea consensus


Trump's surprise proposal to insert himself into the decades-long row risked a backlash from China, which has repeatedly said the United States has no role to play in what it insists is a series of bilateral issues. "They will not talk about it", Duterte said of China.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang takes a bow after the annual Asean-China summit, held Monday in Manila.

The Chinese leader, however, would not back down on Beijing's territorial claim, Mr Duterte said, and justified his decision not to immediately demand Chinese compliance with a ruling by a UN-linked tribunal that invalidated China's sweeping claims in the South China Sea on historical grounds.

This is ASEAN and China's biggest milestone for the past 15 years in crafting a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea. Its claims are contested by Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia, the Philippines and Brunei.

On Sunday, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte suggested that, despite their differences, the leaders should not discuss the South China Sea.

Vietnam gave Chinese President Xi Jinping the red carpet treatment on Sunday at the start of a state visit, as the two communist neighbours try to broaden their economic ties and resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea.

Mr Duterte took steps to thaw frosty relations with China after he won the presidency a year ago.

Citizenship saga: Senator Jacqui Lambie could be the next to leave Parliament
Her father came to Australia as a toddler from Scotland in the 1950s and her grandfather enlisted in the Australian Army. Senator Lambie had previously released a statement saying she was satisfied her parents were both Australian citizens.

The ASEAN leaders will express "grave concern" over North Korea's development of "weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical weapons, and ballistic missile technologies", and strongly condemn terrorism, according to a draft of a summit communique seen by The Associated Press.

It's "important that we cooperate to maintain peace, stability, freedom of navigation in and over-flight above the South China Sea in accordance with global law", they said. It announces that both sides have agreed to officially start negotiations on the code. "So if I can help you, let me know".

Several nations back an active American military presence in the region to serve as a counterweight to China's increasingly assertive actions, including the construction of seven man-made islands equipped with military installations.

China, Taiwan and four ASEAN member states-Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam-have overlapping claims in the waterway, which straddles busy worldwide sea lanes and potentially has vast undersea deposits of oil and gas.

Australia was one of the countries, which are not claimants of the South China Sea, who called for a peaceful resolution on the maritime dispute.

The players were released on bail last Wednesday and have been staying at hotel in Hangzhou, awaiting a decision from authorities that could range from release to fines to years of detainment.