The Latest: US says South China Sea talks will be a key test

The Latest: US says South China Sea talks will be a key test

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on annual meetings of Southeast Asian foreign ministers and their counterparts from the U.S., China, Russia, Japan, the two Koreas and other nations (all times local):

6:40 p.m.

The commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific says negotiations between Southeast Asian nations and an "aggressive" China on a code of conduct for the disputed South China Sea will be a key test for the region.

Adm. Harry Harris told the U.S.-Indonesia Friendship Society in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta on Monday that China's rejection of an international tribunal's ruling in 2016 that supported the territorial claims of the Philippines "demonstrates to any observer what kind of country China is."

China's foreign minister said over the weekend that talks for a long-sought code of conduct in the South China Sea, first mooted in 2002, may finally start this year if "outside parties" don't cause a major disruption.

China's claim to almost all of the South China Sea overlaps with the territories of several Southeast Asian nations.

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