Obama: Need for "Bold Steps" to Quell Escalating Tensions in South China Sea
U.S. President Barack Obama said bold measures should be taken to try to ease growing strains over the South China Sea, where six governments including the Philippines have overlapping claims.
Following bilateral talks with Philippine President Benigno Aquino on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders' summit taking place in Manila, the president drew attention to Beijing's actions that have raised alarms in the region and in Washington.
Obama said, "We discussed the impact of China's land reclamation and construction activities on regional stability. We agree on the need for bold steps to lower tensions including pledging to halt further reclamation, new construction and militarization of disputed areas in the South China Sea."
Aquino also reiterated support for the U.S. military's freedom of navigation maneuvers in the sea.
Obama: US Rhetoric Against Syrian Refugees Needs to Stop'
U.S. President Barack Obama has criticized American politicians for opposing the resettlement of Syrian refugees, saying their rhetoric is contrary to American values and could become a recruitment tool for the Islamic State militant group.
Since the terrorist attacks in Paris, some Republican politicians have called for a halt to all resettlements of Syrian refugees, or for only allowing Christian Syrian refugees into the United States, arguing those steps would prevent Syrian terrorists from carrying out similar attacks on the United States.
Speaking to reporters at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Manila Wednesday, Obama said "we are not well served when in response to a terrorist attack we descend into fear and panic."
Republican lawmakers have called for a halt to plans to resettle an additional 10,000 Syrians in the United States.