Talks to end tension in South China Sea to start in November

Fox News host Eric Bolling has been suspended from work pending an investigation into allegations he sent lewd

"Our military of course, is very much tied to the USA, so that alliance remains strong and good", Romualdez said, adding that the U.S. remained the Philippines's strongest partner in fighting terrorism.

He said both Malaysia and Thailand, where Tillerson is also scheduled to meet government officials next week, can expect their concerns on the Trump administration's relationship with them to be answered during the visit.

Jose Manuel Romualdez, who will take up the position before President Donald Trump's visit to Manila in November, said in an interview that the Philippines would object to further Chinese efforts to strengthen its position in the South China Sea.

Robespierre L. Bolivar, spokesman of the Philippines' Department of Foreign Affairs, said the foreign ministers "endorsed the framework of the code of conduct for eventual adoption at the ASEAN-China ministerial meeting on August 6".

"We commend Singapore, as the China-ASEAN coordinator, for playing a positive and constructive role in advancing relations", he said.

China has always taken ASEAN as a priority in its foreign diplomacy and has always supported ASEAN in taking a central role in regional cooperation and a bigger role in dealing with global and regional affairs, he said.

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China said Sunday it agreed with Southeast Asian nations on a draft framework for a legally binding code in disputed waters, with formal negotiations to begin this year, as it insisted that no "outside parties" should be involved.

Ask about China's reactions from the US's demand for sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), now pursuing an aggressive missile and nuclear program, the envoy said, "We have all along opposed unilateral sanctions, and we oppose imposed sanctions on another sovereign state by citing a domestic law".

When asked whether Pyongyang would agree to start six-party talks, Wang said it is not easy. They urged the North to immediately and fully comply with its obligations under UN Security Council resolutions.

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho will attend Monday's meeting with the US, Japan and South Korea expected to push for stronger actions against the North. "As I told Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the challenges that we've had in the last one or two years are actually part of a maturation process in our relationship", said Dr Balakrishnan. "It will help the DPRK make the right and smart decision", Wang added.

The communiqué did not mention China, which has been documented to have undertaken large-scale reclamation and improvement works on man-made islands in the South China Sea.

"As long as we commit to dialogue and consultation and worldwide law, including Unclos, we will be able to stabilize the situation and find a way out".

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