Asean can help avert South China Sea conflict, Philippine defence minister says

Tensions in the South China Sea will increase due to a US-China rivalry that could be kept in check, if only Southeast Asian countries took a united stand to influence the status quo, a top Philippine security official said on Wednesday.The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) was caught up in the battle for regional influence but it could do more to ensure stability and should take a common approach, Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana told a security forum.“Where is the Asean in this…