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Obama tells Aquino strong set of rules must govern sea disputes

A “strong set of international norms and rules” must govern maritime disputes in the Asia Pacific region, U.S. President Barack Obama said after a meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino in Washington.

“We had discussions about how we can continue to consult closely together, to engage in training together, work on a range of regional issues together — all of which is consistent with the announced pivot by the United States back to Asia, and reminding everybody that, in fact, the United States considers itself, and is, a Pacific power,” Obama said in comments posted on the U.S. Embassy Manila website today. “We have a partnership for growth that is working on how we can make sure that we are structuring a relationship of expanding trade and commerce between our two countries,” Obama said.

Philippine and Chinese vessels are locked in a two-month standoff in a portion of South China Sea claimed by both.

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