A spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council (NSC) said on Wednesday that, South Asian leaders have accepted an invitation from US President Barack Obama to meet for a summit at the Californian resort of Sunnylands, early next year.
Last month, President Obama meet with the leaders of the 10-nation Association of South Asian Nations (ASEAN) and extended his invitation to them.
"The president is pleased the leaders have accepted his invitation to gather at Sunnylands, in early 2016," Myles Caggins, an NSC spokesman, said.
Caggins has not provide the specific information on the date of the summit.
Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported on Monday, citing reference from ASEAN official source, saying that the summit was expected to be held Feb. 15-16. However, the ASEAN diplomats are yet to confirm the date as well.
The United States aimed to strengthen its ties with the ASEAN countries to confront the increasingly assertive behaviour by China in the scramble of territory within the South China Sea.
China claims most of the South China Sea, as Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan have rival claims. It is considered a critical commercial gateway, through which more than $5 trillion in global trade passes every year.