Philippines will address South China Sea issue as chair of ASEAN


Cliff Venzon




December 28, 2016 


MANILA -- The Philippines will keep the contentious South China Sea territorial issue on the agenda at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) next year, but will also use its chairing of the 10-nation bloc to promote a major regional trade deal initiated by Beijing. "The South China Sea issue is always a concern that can be raised by any ASEAN member in light of the joint communique that we have already made," Perfecto Yasay, the Philippine foreign secretary, told the Nikkei Asian Review on Wednesday. "These issues can be brought up and we will be addressing them."