In this photo taken on June 15, 2016 a vendor stands behind a map of China including an insert with red dotted lines showing China's claimed territory in the South China Sea, in Beijing.
Chinese pressure was blamed June 16 for a stunning diplomatic U-turn by Southeast Asian Nations that saw them retract a statement sounding alarm over Beijing's island building in the South China Sea. China claims nearly all of the South China Sea -- a vast tract of water through which a huge chunk of global shipping passes. The Philippines, Taiwan, Brunei, Malaysia and Vietnam have competing claims to parts of the sea, which is believed to harbour significant oil and gas deposits. / AFP / GREG BAKER (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)