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ASEAN Defense Ministers Meet Amid Growing China-Philippines Maritime Tensions

ASEAN Secretary-General Kao Kim Hourn (L) arrives to attend the opening session of the 17th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) in Jakarta on November 15, 2023. WILLY KURNIAWAN / POOL / AFP

China-Philippines tensions in the South China Sea are atop the agenda for this week’s gathering of ASEAN defense ministers in Jakarta.

The bloc’s defense chiefs held talks on Wednesday on a range of issues, including the frequent — and at times dangerous — encounters between the two countries’s navies and coast guards in the contested waters.

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