No signing of joint declaration at ASEAN defense forum

Reuters News
Posted: Nov 03, 2015 9:35 PM

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - There will be no signing ceremony for a joint statement at the end of an ASEAN defense forum, hosts Malaysia said in a revised schedule issued on Wednesday, after China lobbied Southeast Asian nations to drop any reference to concerns over the South China Sea.

The United States is also attending the meeting and had wanted the statement to include references to the South China Sea. A senior U.S. official said it was understood that no statement would be issued at the end of the meeting.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon and Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)