The United States and China remain at loggerheads over the South China Sea following the latest round of accusations at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Manila, The Financial Times reported. US President Barack Obama called on rival claimants to the sea to “halt reclamation, new construction, and militarization of disputed areas” for the sake of regional stability. Beijing responded that its artificial island-building was “beyond reproach,” that it was only building military installations on the islands to protect its civilian facilities and that the recent US naval mission sailing a warship within 12 nautical miles of one was a “political provocation” designed to “test China’s response”.
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