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Coachella Valley - Obama, Close of Summit


Last updated 2/17/2016 at 9:42am

President Barack Obama visit to the Coachella Valley came to a close Tuesday, with a release of a joint statement from the U.S. and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The historic summit with Southeast Asian leaders called for reduced tensions in the South China Sea.

The joint statement which has been named the "Sunnylands Declaration" after the sprawling Annenberg estate in Rancho Mirage, calls for respect of each nation's sovereignty and for international law.

Despite the tensions in the South China Sea and territorial disputes over shipping lanes, which experts had predicted to be the main topic, the issue has not been covered directly in the statement.

"Most important, I think the fact that the joint statement that came out of the summit did not include a mention of China's activities in the South China Sea is telling," said Josh Kurlantzick, senior fellow for Southeast Asia at the Council on Foreign Relations. "It shows there are serious divides in Southeast Asia on how to deal with China, and on responding to China's maritime strategy."

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