As the Tuesday [ASEAN] meeting ended, people briefed on the matter said discord emerged over how the proceedings should be presented to the public—between China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, and among ASEAN members themselves.
Indeed, no official post-meeting statement was produced, as is usual for international meetings. Several participants issued their own statements, and Indonesia canceled a joint appearance with the PRC representative. The PRC—not an ASEAN member—even presumed to instruct the participants that whatever ASEAN might say could not be the official ASEAN comment.
We’re not a member of ASEAN, but as a Pacific nation, we certainly could—and should—exercise a measure of influence and help. But this administration doesn’t want to engage here, either.