To be relevant, let Asean use S. China Sea dispute ruling

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The Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean), which marks its 50th anniversary on Aug 8, finds itself at a crossroads: How can it continue to be relevant as a regional bloc, in the light of its inability to counter, or even merely criticise, expansive Chinese ambitions in the South China Sea? One possibility is for individual members to separately invoke last year’s arbitral tribunal ruling.
 
That landmark ruling in international law, which the Philippines sought and which benefits both individual member-states and the Asean as a regional association, has been temporarily set aside by the Philippines.
 
The “award”- decided by the arbitral tribunal convened under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea – was released on July 12, 2016, a mere 12 days after Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office.
 
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