Beijing claims most of the sea -- with competing territorial assertions from Brunei, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
Cambodia -- a key Beijing ally -- last hosted ASEAN in 2012 and was accused of siding with China over the disputed and resource-rich waters, resulting in no communique being issued.
But based on the progress of a senior officials’ meeting, Kung Phoak said he was confident a consensus could be reached and a joint statement released.
“I’m confident things are moving in the right direction. We’re almost there,” he said Tuesday, Aug. 2.
Alongside Blinken and Wang, Russia’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov -- who landed in Myanmar for talks with the junta before traveling on to Cambodia -- and the European Union’s Josep Borrell will attend meetings with ASEAN counterparts later in the week.
Ministers are expected to grapple with issues ranging from the Russian-Ukraine conflict to North Korea missile tests and regional security concerns.
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