Voice of America
14 Jul 2021, 19:05 GMT+10
HANOI - The United States rejects China's "unlawful" maritime claims successful the South China Sea and stands with Southeast Asian nations faced with Beijing's "coercion," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said connected Wednesday.
Addressing a video league with overseas ministers from the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN), Blinken besides said the United States has "deep concerns" astir the concern successful Myanmar and urged the radical to instrumentality enactment to extremity unit and reconstruct ideology successful the country.
The gathering with the 10-member bloc is the archetypal since the Biden medication took bureau successful January and comes amid concerns among diplomats and others that Washington has not been paying capable attraction to a portion that is important to its determination strategy to antagonistic an progressively almighty China.
ASEAN has been starring the main diplomatic effort connected subordinate state Myanmar since a February 1 coup plunged it into turmoil.
Myanmar's junta has shown small motion of heeding a five-point ASEAN consensus, reached successful April, which calls for an extremity to violence, governmental talks and the naming of a determination peculiar envoy.
Blinken urged ASEAN to instrumentality "immediate action" connected the statement and name a peculiar envoy to Myanmar, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said successful a statement.
Blinken asked for the merchandise of each those "unjustly detained" successful the country, and the restoration of Myanmar's antiauthoritarian transition, Price said.
Blinken besides emphasized the U.S. rejection of China's "unlawful maritime claims" successful the South China Sea astatine the gathering and said Washington "stands with Southeast Asian claimants successful the look of (Chinese) coercion," Price said.
China claims immense swathes of the disputed South China Sea via its unilaterally declared, U-shaped, "nine-dash line" which intersects with the exclusive economical zones of Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and the Philippines, each ASEAN members.
Trillions of dollars successful yearly commercialized flows done the disputed waterway.
In summation to the South China Sea, the Mekong River has go a caller beforehand successful U.S.-China rivalry, with Beijing overtaking Washington successful some spending and power implicit downstream countries astatine the mercy of its power of the river's waters.
Price said Blinken "pledged continued U.S. enactment for a escaped and unfastened Mekong portion nether the Mekong-U.S. Partnership."
Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said helium hoped Wednesday's gathering signalled a "refreshed commitment" to U.S. multilateral practice successful the region.
"We recognize that multilateralism was not a cardinal absorption for the erstwhile administration, but the Biden administration's clasp of multilateral practice is simply a invited development," Hishammuddin said, according to a transcript of his delivered remarks.
"This way is the lone mode guardant to guarantee stability, peace, prosperity and information for our region."