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By Michael Martina and Manuel Mogato VIENTIANE (Reuters) - Southeast Asian nations overcame days of deadlock on Monday when the Philippines dropped a request for their joint statement to mention a landmark legal ruling on the South China Sea, officials said, after objections from Cambodia. Beijing publicly thanked Cambodia for supporting its stance on maritime disputes, a position which threw the regional block's weekend meeting in the Laos capital of Vientiane into disarray. Competing claims with China in the vita shipping are among the most contentious issues for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, with its 10 members pulled between their desire to assert their sovereignty while finding common ground and fostering political and commercial ties with Beijing.
BEIJING (AP) — U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice held talks in Beijing on Monday with Chinese officials in the highest-level visit by a White House official since an international tribunal issued a ruling that invalidated China's expansive claims in the South China Sea.