Southeast Asia Summit Dissolves

    Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin (C) listens to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's speech (on screens) during the 2nd Friends of Lower Mekong (FLM) Ministerial Meeting Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) held on the sidelines of the 45th Annual Ministerial Meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Phnom Penh on July 13, 2012. Days of heated diplomacy ended in failure on July 13 as splits over territorial disputes with China prevented Southeast Asian nations from issuing their customary joint statement at a summit Friday. AFP PHOTO/HOANG DINH Nam        (Photo credit should read HOANG DINH NAM/AFP/GettyImages)

    Hoang Dinh Nam, AFP / Getty Images

    While at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ annual conference, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged China to share parts of the resource-rich South China Sea with its neighbors. The idea didn’t go over so well. The meeting broke down Thursday as foreign leaders from all countries present could not agree on how to handle territorial disputes over the South China Sea. The meeting ended in such disarray that the meeting’s participants couldn’t even get it together to decide in what language a concluding joint statement on the gathering’s outcomes should be written. ASEAN’s secretary-general Surin Pitsuwan called the whole thing “very disappointing.”

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