The pledge followed Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang’s meeting in Chinese Premier Le Keqiang.Brunei and Malaysia, which had strong economic ties with China even before the court ruling, rarely speak about China’s maritime activities.
Oh Ei Sun teaches international studies at Singapore Nanyang University.
He expects the dispute to be noted at the ASEAN talks, but with very general language urging all sides to act responsibly.
ASEAN always discusses the South China Sea, Thayer noted. Vietnam and the Philippines had already softened their positions toward China since the world court ruling, said Nathan Liu, international affairs professor at Ming Chuan University in Taiwan.
Last year, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte made a friendly visit to Beijing.
China has worried other countries since 2010 when it began developing man-made islands, some apparently for military use.