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ASEAN leaders wary of region becoming 'proxy' among powers

Rising tensions between the United States and China and Myanmar's descent into widespread violence dominated talks among a 10-nation bloc of Southeast Asian leaders.

ASEAN leaders gather for a global dialogue hosted by Cambodia
ASEAN leaders gather for a global dialogue hosted by Cambodia (AN/ASEAN Secretariat/Kusuma Pandu Wijaya)

Rising tensions between the United States and China and Myanmar's descent into widespread violence since a 2021 military coup dominated talks among world leaders hosted by a prominent Southeast Asian intergovernmental organization.

“Many current challenges and tensions have been hindering our past hard-earned efforts to promote sustainable development and causing greater hardship to people’s lives,” said Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen, whose nation hosted the talks as chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations this year.

As the talks wrapped up on Sunday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo, whose nation will chair ASEAN in 2023, signaled a more hardline approach to the competition between China and the United States for more regional influence.

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