Southeast Asian nations failed to agree on maritime disputes in the South China Sea on Sunday after Cambodia blocked any mention to an international court ruling against Beijing in their statement, Reuters reports. The Philippines and Vietnam both wanted a communiqué issued by ASEAN foreign ministers after their meeting to refer to the ruling and the need to respect international law, ASEAN diplomats said. Their foreign ministers both discussed the ruling with ASEAN counterparts in the Laotian capital. But before the meeting, China’s closest ASEAN ally Cambodia opposed the proposed wording, throwing the group into disarray. Phnom Penh supports Beijing’s opposition to any ASEAN stand on the South China Sea, and its preference for dealing with the disputed claims on a bilateral basis.
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