Kuala Lumpur (dpa) – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Monday stressed the need to peacefully manage the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, as leaders of the Association of South-East Asian Nations met in Kuala Lumpur.
“Recent developments have raised concerns about the South China Sea,” he said at the opening of the plenary meeting of the 10-country regional grouping. “ASEAN must address these developments in a proactive, but also in a positive and constructive way.”
ASEAN is comprised of Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
On Sunday, the Philippines criticized China for building installations on reefs in disputed territories in the South China Sea and urged ASEAN to call on Beijing to put an end to the reclamations.
China’s claims in the area overlap with competing claims by ASEAN countries Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam.