Southeast Asian nations Monday avoided direct criticism of Beijing over its claims to the South China Sea, in a diluted statement produced after days of disagreement that gives the superpower a diplomatic victory. The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) sidestepped any mention of a ruling by a UN-backed tribunal that rejected China's claims and infuriated Beijing. Instead, ASEAN repeated that it was "seriously concerned" by "land reclamations and escalation of activities" and called for "self-restraint" in the strategic waterway.
Turkish authorities on Monday issued arrest warrants for over 40 journalists in a new phase of the controversial legal crackdown after the failed coup, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was to host opposition party chiefs for an unprecedented meeting. Over 13,000 people have been detained so far in a vast sweep in the wake of the July 15 coup bid, which the authorities blame on the reclusive US-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen. The crackdown has raised tensions with the European Union, further hampering Ankara's stalled membership bid, while a potential diplomatic crisis with Washington is looming if the United States refuses to extradite Gulen to Turkey.