Southeast Asia's nerves over China

The second Asean-United States leaders' summit on Sept. 24 in New York may have conveyed the impression of an emerging alliance. To be sure, after years of keeping a low profile on Southeast Asian problems, the United States is more engaged than ever. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton angered Beijing by taking a public position supporting Association of Southeast Asian Nations efforts to seek peaceful resolution of territorial disputes with China through multilateral diplomacy and for status of the South China Sea as a "maritime commons" rather than a territorial sea.

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