ASEAN firms up S.China Sea stance as Beijing lobbies over statement

Southeast Asian countries have altered a statement to be issued at Saturday's ASEAN summit to include references to militarization and island-building in the South China Sea, the latest draft shows, in a move likely to frustrate Beijing.
Chinese embassy representatives in Manila had sought to influence the content of the communique by lobbying Philippine officials, two ASEAN diplomatic sources told Reuters.
However, four ASEAN member states disagreed with omitting "land reclamation and militarization" - terms included in the statement issued last year in Laos, but not included in an earlier draft of this year's statement seen on Wednesday.
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