Southeast Asia nations to start talks with China on sea code

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Southeast Asia nations to start talks with China on sea code
Southeast Asia nations to start talks with China on sea code

MANILA, Philippines (AP) – Southeast Asian leaders are to announce the start of negotiations with China on a so-called “code of conduct” in the disputed South China Sea in what they regard as a milestone but some experts dismiss as a non-starter.

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will also sign an accord aiming to protect migrant workers from the poverty-wracked region during a two-day summit that opened Monday in Manila, according to a draft of a post-summit communique seen by The Associated Press.

The ASEAN leaders will also reiterate their “grave concern” over North Korea’s development of “weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear and chemical weapons, and ballistic missile technologies,” and press their strong condemnation of terrorism in the communique.

From left, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia President Joko Widodo and Laos Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, join hands during a family photo before the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines on Monday Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Pool)
CORRECTS ID TO VIETNAMESE PRIME MINISTER NGUYEN XUAN PHUC – U.S. President Donald Trump, center, reacts when he realizes he is incorrectly doing the “ASEAN-way handshake” with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, left, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, right, on stage during the opening ceremony at the ASEAN Summit at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. Trump is on a five-country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
From left, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmar’s State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, Vietnam’s Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Philippines’ President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Brunei’s Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo and Laos’ Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, join hands during a family photo before the 31st ASEAN Summit in Manila, Philippines on Monday Nov. 13, 2017. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila, Pool)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, center, arrives for a meeting with President Donald Trump and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at the ASEAN Summit at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. Trump is on a five country trip through Asia traveling to Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, speaks with Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte as he arrives at the opening ceremony for the Association for Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conference in Manila, Philippines, Monday, Nov. 13, 2017. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP)
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