Sea dispute, N. Korea delay Asean communique

Southeast Asian nations were battling on Sunday to find a compromise on how to deal with Chinese expansionism in the South China Sea, with Cambodia lobbying hard for Beijing, diplomats said.

Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting in Manila failed to release a joint statement as scheduled on Saturday evening, and tense follow-up negotiations the next morning could still not end the standoff, two diplomats involved in the talks told Agence France-Presse (AFP).

China claims nearly all of the South China Sea, including waters approaching the coasts of four Asean members — the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia and Brunei.

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