However, he added, "Frankly speaking, I was disappointed when I heard your remarks in the EAS foreign ministers' meeting today". While its members acknowledge the concern, they also say it guarantees solidarity in decisions and statements they come up with.
After the adoption of the framework, China President Xi Jinping lauded Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, ASEAN's current chairman, and notified him that China is ready to bring greater closeness to the China-ASEAN community of shared destiny.
In a transcript of a statement by Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho, which was distributed to media in Manila, Pyongyang called new United Nations sanctions "fabricated" and warned there would be "strong follow-up measures" and acts of justice.
Southeast Asian countries are "not happy" with North Korea's missile tests, Cambodia's foreign minister said on Wednesday, calling them a threat to regional security.
But the Asian giant had always been perceived as delaying negotiations with Asean for the maritime code to allow it to complete its land reclamations in the South China Sea without any regulatory restrictions.
He's only been in the job around a week, but Japan's new foreign minister is already having a rough time having a friction-filled meeting with his Chinese counterpart at the ASEAN forum in Manila.
The three countries called on China and the Philippines to honor an arbitration ruling made a year ago.
"Neither shall we flinch even an inch from the road to bolstering up the nuclear forces chosen by ourselves, unless the hostile policy and nuclear threat of the USA against [North Korea] are fundamentally eliminated", he said.
Their trade amounted to US$452.2bil (RM1.9 trililon) a year ago, and now about 2,700 flights connect China and the 10 countries in every week.
In July 2016, the arbitral tribunal in the Hague ruled that Beijing has no legal or historical basis for its nine-dash line, which demarcates its claims to nearly the entire South China Sea. As in past criticisms, they did not cite China by name.
".It doesn't mean all differences have gone away but by focusing on the overall dynamics of the relationship, we can achieve positive progress, confidence and move forward".
The US, Japan and Australia on Monday urged all claimant countries in the South China Sea to cease land reclamations, constructions and other "coercive unilateral actions" that are changing the disputed area's landscape.
China and ASEAN nations on Sunday expressed satisfaction with the achievements made in their strategic partnership during the last 15 years and agreed to further enhance cooperation.
"We expect nations not to tell us what to do", Foreign Secretary said at a news conference.
Cayetano, meanwhile, expressed hope that Australia, Japan and the United States, three key partners of ASEAN, would no longer meddle in the sea dispute and focus on their bilateral relations with ASEAN members.