Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said Asean was now facing two major geopolitical challenges that needed to be overcome in the best possible way.
He said the first was how Asean could deal with relations between China and the United States and their strategic interests.
“These two nations have strategic interests in their relations with Asean and the region.
“They are somewhat competing to expand their influence although their involvement in the East Asia Summit processes is to increase cooperation with Asean countries and other East Asian countries,” Najib said at a news conference with Malaysian journalists at the end of the 19th Asean Summit, yesterday.
The second challenge is tackling the overlapping territorial claims in the South China Sea.
“The summit felt that any claims should be resolved amicably through negotiations and dialogues, besides adhering to international law.
“We also stressed how important it is for the countries to accept the declaration of conduct and we are moving towards a code of conduct. This is to ensure that any action taken is based on rules and on international law,” he said.