28 February 2014
Issues of mutual concern on agenda, but united front against China unlikely
PHILIPPINE President Benigno Aquino arrived here yesterday for a state visit at a time when concern is heightening over China’s increased activity in the South China Sea that affects both the Philippines and Malaysia.
A joint press release last week said Mr Aquino and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will “exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual concern”, but did not spell out if China’s assertiveness was on the agenda.
Foreign Minister Anifah Aman did not respond to queries from The Straits Times on this visit, which comes ahead of United States President Barack Obama’s visit in April. The US and China are in increasing competition for influence in this region.
… Dr Oh Ei Sun, a senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, said there is likely to be a lot of concerted effort behind the scenes to find a comprehensive solution.
IDSS / RSIS / Print
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