Just as the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) meeting is slated to begin, Vietnam took a bold step and targeted China for its expansionist policies in South China Sea. The smaller neighbor of China said that Southeast Asian nations should come forward to take a stronger stand on the expansionist policies being implemented by China in the South China Sea. North Korea also came under fire for its recent nuclear and missile tests. The leaders of ASEAN countries feel that North Korea’s actions could result in a war in the area, which would not be good for ASEAS nations. The leaders of the ASEAN countries would be meeting this Sunday in Philippine’s capital Manila to discuss a wide variety of issues.
Even when its claims to South China Sea may be legitimate, Vietnam finds itself isolated in the ASEAN regional forum. The problem is that no other country is willing to directly confront China, since it is economically and militarily more powerful and probably the most powerful in South East Asia. However, Vietnam continues to fight for its territorial rights in the South China Sea. Vietnam has issued a statement that would be taken up for discussion in the ASEAN regional forum. The statement protests against the construction activities being undertaken by China in the South China Sea and seeks support of member nations to join the protest. Speaking about the development, one of the diplomats said, “The discussions were really hard. Vietnam is on its own to have stronger language on the South China Sea. Cambodia and Philippines are not keen to reflect that.”