Posted by: Chuck | September 1, 2013

Hagel was in Manila


Hagel was in Manila at the end of a week-long Asian tour amid fresh strains between the Philippines and China over rival territorial claims in the South China Sea.

Sunset over the South China Sea at Barangay Be...

Sunset over the South China Sea at Barangay Beneg, Botolan, Zambales (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The tensions have forced Aquino to call off a planned visit on September 3 to the Chinese city of Nanning to attend a trade conference. The Philippines accuses China of aggressively pushing its territorial claims over most of the South China Sea, including waters close to Philippine shores. Hagel endorsed efforts by China’s smaller neighbors in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to negotiate a South China Sea “code of conduct”, as well as Philippine efforts to solve the disputes. Without mentioning China, he said that Washington wanted nations to settle their disputes through international law “without coercion or militarized attempts to alter the status quo.” Hagel held separate talks with Gazmin and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario, and visited the US military cemetery in Manila before heading back to Washington. (Source: AFP News)

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