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In Surprise, Cambodia Puts South China Sea on Summit Agenda

China claims the highlighted portion of the South China Sea. Many other governments also claim all or part of the South China Sea.

Reversing an earlier decision, Cambodian officials have put the South China Sea on the official agenda for Wednesday, the final day of an Asean summit in Phnom Penh.

Cambodia had left the contentious issue off the agenda, following a visit by Chinese President Hu Jiantao over the weekend. But Asean members Vietnam and the Philippines raised the issue at a meeting of foreign ministers on Monday.

Several Asean members have overlapping maritime and island claims in the South China Sea with China and Taiwan.

Soeu Rat Chavy, secretary of state for the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, told reporters Tuesday the issue was now on the agenda.

“We have received no pressure from any country,” she said. “The Chinese leader and Asean leaders have agreed to do whatever they can to effectively implement the [code] of conduct in the South China Sea to ensure peace, stability and prosperity in the region.”