US

Kerry meets SEAsia ministers after Chinese diplomatic win

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks to Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Foreign Ministers Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Monday, July 25, 2016. Southeast Asia's main grouping made a last-ditch attempt to reach a consensus on countering China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, but their deadlock appeared far from being resolved as minutes ticked by before a critical meeting with the Chinese foreign minister Monday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, left, talks to Philippine Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. before the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Foreign Ministers Meeting in Vientiane, Laos, Monday, July 25, 2016. Southeast Asia's main grouping made a last-ditch attempt to reach a consensus on countering China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, but their deadlock appeared far from being resolved as minutes ticked by before a critical meeting with the Chinese foreign minister Monday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

  • From left, Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Othman Hashim, Secretary General of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prepare for a group photo as they shake hands for a group photo during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Southeast Asia's main grouping made a last-ditch attempt to reach a consensus on countering China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, but their deadlock appeared far from being resolved as minutes ticked by before a critical meeting with the Chinese foreign minister Monday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)

    From left, Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and Othman Hashim, Secretary General of the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, prepare for a group photo as they shake hands for a group photo during the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-U.S. Southeast Asia's main grouping made a last-ditch attempt to reach a consensus on countering China's territorial expansion in the South China Sea, but their deadlock appeared far from being resolved as minutes ticked by before a critical meeting with the Chinese foreign minister Monday. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)  (The Associated Press)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is meeting with his counterparts from South East Asia after they were unable to agree on a statement criticizing China for territorially expansion in the South China Sea.

Kerry met with the foreign ministers from the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at a regional security conference in Laos on Monday and made no direct mention of the South China Sea tensions. Instead, he praised ASEAN for speaking up for "a rules-based international system that protects the rights of all nations."

Earlier Monday, the bloc, however, omitted any mention of a recent international arbitration panel ruling in a dispute between the Philippines and China that said Beijing's claims in the South China Sea were illegal.