The move by Duterte to patch up relations with China, to lean closer to China is now touted as unsettling to Asean. When the Philippines were leaning to the USA, be the barking dog of the USA, raising tension in the South China Sea, that was not unsettling to Asean. What this new slogan is saying is that Asean should be leaning to the USA against China, and this is what the Asean states wanted. What about Thailand and Malaysia turning to China, to raise their relations to a higher level, are they also unsettling to Asean?
Look at it from another angle, the only gang in Asean that is unsettled is the pro US camp, the cronies and barking dogs of the US, aka little USAs. These cronies would be very unsettled now that Asean is no longer the puppet on a string to be dragged on by the nose by the Americans to create tension in the region. Their only agenda, is to let the US use Asean to encircle and contain China of which Obama is so proud and bragging about it.
Would not Asean countries be happier now with lesser tension in the SCS? Would not the Asean countries praise Duterte for maintaining peace in the region and bringing more economic development to his country and bettering the lives of the Pinoys instead of trying to pick a fight that it could not win?
For Singapore, there is nothing to worry about. Singapore is neutral and did not take sides. Singapore will support an independent and neutral Asean balancing the interests of big powers without being a crony or barking dog of any big power.
Let those cronies and barking dogs get unsettled for trying to be little USAs or Trojan Horses. Singapore is a principled country and meant what it said. Singapore does not take sides. Singapore is neutral. How brilliant of our leaders.
Singapore is safe while Asean is being unsettled by more Asean countries turning away from the USA to China. Singapore can sleep well, very well while those American barking dogs would have sleepless nights wondering what to do next, to cosy up to their American masters and to plot against China.