It's frustrating to know that nothing really happened after foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations failed to approve a substantial communique that would, once and for all, resolve the controversy that now hounds the contested territories in the South China Sea.
Consequently, claimant countries like the Philippines,
Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia have expressed apprehensions as to
the way the Chinese government behaves in so far as China's
muscle-flexing in the disputed territories is concerned. What I learned
is that Cambodia seemed unwilling to cooperate with what the other Asean
members wanted in the first place--to form a European-style economic
block by 2015.
The intention was to show China what the Asean block
could do to level the playing field in the northeast part of the South
China Sea. While the controversy remains unresolved, "intense
nationalist feelings around the region" are believed to be making it
more difficult for diplomats to settle the matter effectively.
As the controversy heats up, some staunch critics are espousing initiatives to boycott Chinese products all over the world, if only to show how infuriated they are the way the Chinese government behaves in so far as claims to some of the islands in the South China Sea.