On July 22, US State Secretary Hillary Clinton officially signed Asean's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation (TAC) in Phuket, Thailand.

The treaty, first formulated and adopted by Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines in 1976, requires its signatories, inter alia, to settle inter-state disputes or conflicts peacefully and not to "interfere" with the "internal affairs" of one another.

Other extra-regional powers that have signed the treaty include China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, France and the United Kingdom.

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