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ASEAN Tackles Korea, Myanmar, and US-China Ties




Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group picture with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the opening of their 43rd annual meeting in Hanoi on July 20, 2010. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)

Foreign Ministers from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group picture with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung at the opening of their 43rd annual meeting in Hanoi on July 20, 2010. (Hoang Dinh Nam/AFP/Getty Images)

This week, the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will come together to tackle issues of regional leadership. In the past, the group has been criticized as "talking shops," but the need for action and leadership seems to be growing by the day.

As ministers from ASEAN meet in Hanoi this week, the forum "will be analyzed for signs about relations between the U.S. and China in the context of the wider region," says Asia Society Associate Fellow Simon Tay.

"Issues from the Korean peninsula to Myanmar and possible nuclear weapons are current, and there are emerging questions on China's attitudes to the South China Sea. ASEAN will also need to consider how best to engage the U.S. in a multilateral regional forum for leaders."

Tay is the author of the new book Asia Alone: The Dangerous Post-Crisis Divide from America. 

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