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China Looms Large At This Week’s ASEAN Summit

ASEAN Foreign Ministers meeting in the Indonesian resort town of Labuan Bajo. Image Achmad Ibrahim / AFP

Senior officials of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are gathering in the remote Indonesian town of Labuan Bajo for the 42nd ASEAN summit taking place this week. 

The summit comes as ASEAN is trying to recover from the economic disruption of the COVID era while navigating increasingly alarming security dilemmas squeezing the bloc between China’s expansive territorial claims in the South China Sea and the growing U.S. focus on Taiwan. In the run-up to the summit, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo made ASEAN’s position on the maritime dispute clear:

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