The Latest: China's premier urges reassurances for markets

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, left, delivers his statement at the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in the ongoing 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Singapore. At right is South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, who represented South Korean President Moon Jae-in. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has told fellow Asian leaders that the region needs to send a strong positive message to markets about sticking to trade rules and open markets

SINGAPORE — The Latest on the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, which ends Thursday in Singapore (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (LEE KUH'-chiang) has told fellow Asian leaders the region needs to send a strong positive message to markets about sticking to trade rules and open markets.

Li spoke Thursday at a summit of the Association of Southeast Asian nations. He also reassured China's neighbors that Beijing's "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative will help support peace and stability in the region.

Li says the region needs to "take concrete action to uphold the rules-based free trade regime and to send a message — a positive message — to the market to provide stable, predictable and law-based conditions for the market."

His comments come amid mounting concern over debts associated with projects financed by Beijing that are part of the effort to nurture trade and logistics networks linked to China.

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1:35 p.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says another U.S.-North Korean summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is likely after the beginning of the year.

Pence said Thursday that the meeting would "put details on paper" for denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and the U.S. would continue putting "maximum pressure" on North Korea until then.

Pence spoke on the sidelines of a Southeast Asian summit in Singapore.

He also says Trump plans to discuss Beijing's unique role regarding North Korea when he meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina at the G-20 summit later this month. He says the U.S. is also working very closely with South Korea and respects the talks it is holding with Pyongyang.

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10:05 a.m.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence says America has a steadfast and enduring commitment to the Indo-Pacific region but wants cooperation, not control.

Pence, who is standing in for President Donald Trump, told a summit of Southeast Asian leaders Thursday in Singapore that "empire and aggression have no place" in the region. The comment appeared to allude to growing Chinese sway in the region and its vast claims in the South China Sea.

Pence said, "Like you, we seek an Indo-Pacific in which all nations, large and small, can prosper and thrive - secure in our sovereignty, confident in our values, and growing stronger together."

The meetings of the 10-nation Association of Southeast Nations focus on enhanced trade and security in a region of more than 630 million people.

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