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Association of Southeast Asian Nations

US, allies slam Chinese island-building

MANILA: The United States, Australia and Japan on Monday denounced Beijing's island-building and militarisation of the¬†South China Sea, in contrast to the increasingly tepid response from Southeast Asian nations over the festering issue. China claims nearly all of the sea, through which $5 trillion in annual shipping trade passes and which is believed to sit atop vast oil and gas deposits. Its sweeping claims overlap with Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei -- all members of the 10-nation Association of…