US pledges US$300 mln security funding for SEA

US pledges US$300 mln security funding for SEA

Singapore assumed the rotating presidency of the meeting.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to show up later Friday.

Pompeo also told a gathering of top diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Singapore that Asean had been the top destination for USA investment in Asia.

The suggestion to exclude outside countries "is obviously targeted at the U.S. which has been dominating the waters of the Western Pacific and the South China Sea in particular", Hoang Thi Ha, from the ASEAN Studies Centre, ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute in Singapore, told AFP.

"The DPRK government delegation headed by Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho left here today to pay official visits to Singapore and Iran", KCNA reported.

This year's meetings take place amid trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainty.

Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi (王毅) told reporters at the forum that China welcomed, and was willing to work with, the United States to help with faster development and better security in the region.

Maritime disputes are one of the key agenda items at the Asean meeting.

With the region being home to some of the world's largest economies, the US, China, Japan, India and Indonesia, Indo-Pacific cooperation could combine a total gross domestic product (GDP) of more than US$43 trillion.

China warns against blackmail as Donald Trump considers higher tariffs
President Donald Trump earlier proposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports . Both countries implemented 25% tariffs for US$34 billion of goods on each other on July 6.

"Its centrality to the region's architecture is uncontested", Ms Bishop added.

As responsible countries, Wang said, China and Singapore should join hands with other countries to shoulder due responsibilities, firmly promote multilateralism, maintain worldwide rules and multilateral trade system, push for the building of an open world economy and maintain world peace and development.

Cayetano spoke in Singapore with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) foreign ministers' meeting.

China will continue to regard the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as the priority of its neighborhood diplomacy and be committed to good neighborliness and friendship, mutual benefit and win-win cooperation, he said, adding that China supports ASEAN community building as well as ASEAN's central role.

These span a range of areas including terrorism, cyber security, climate change, irregular migrants and maritime matters.

Earlier in the day, Mr Pompeo was in Putrajaya, where he called on Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Asean solidarity was also on display, and Mr Lee started his speech by conveying his condolences to two members which saw recent disasters - to Laos on the collapse of the Xe Pien-Xe Namnoy hydroelectric dam and to Indonesia on the Lombok quake.

Ri is scheduled to attend Saturday's ASEAN Regional Forum meeting of the 10-country regional bloc and other forum members.

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