US says SE Asian summit ‘not anti-China’

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: A summit with Southeast Asian leaders that President Barack Obama is hosting later this month is “not anti-China,” a State Department official said Tuesday. The meeting will bring leaders from the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) at the Californian resort of Sunnylands on February 15-16. “This summit is not about China. It’s about the US and ASEAN,” US Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia Daniel Russel said in an interview with the AP, Reuters and AFP news agencies. Several ASEAN states are embroiled in an increasingly bitter spat with China over disputed territory in the South China Sea. The US says it takes no position on ownership of the various reefs and islets under dispute, but insists freedom of navigation in the vital shipping lane must be maintained.

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AFP

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