Obama to raise maritime issues at Asia summits
WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama pledged on Tuesday to bring up maritime disputes boiling between China and its neighbors at the US-ASEAN and East Asia summits in Brunei in October.
Brunei has already said that it will pursue a binding code of conduct among competing claimants in the South China Sea during its ASEAN chairmanship this year. China insists disputes are a bilateral matter between individual nations.
"We will be discussing maritime issues," Obama said after meeting Brunei's Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah in the Oval Office, referring to the two summits, which he is expected to attend.
"Obviously there have been a lot of tensions in the region around maritime issues and His Majesty has shown great leadership in order to bring the countries together to make sure that everybody's abiding by basic precepts of rule of law and international standards."