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Newsline: Southeast Asia Seen Tiptoeing Through U.S.-China Taiwan Minefield

Escalating tensions between Washington and Beijing over Taiwan apparently stole the focus of last week’s meeting of Southeast Asia’s top diplomats in Cambodia. Officials from member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, meeting face to face for the first time since the pandemic, had been expected to focus on efforts to end the crisis in Myanmar and other regional issues. But attention to the forum faded as China began four days of military drills encircling Taiwan after U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited the self-governing island in defiance of warnings from Beijing. Tensions between the U.S. and China loomed over the meeting of top diplomats from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The major powers using the forum to take swipes at each other as the region’s foreign ministers struggled to maintain their ties with both sides. (https://www.wsj.com/articles/southeast-asia-seeks-to-tiptoe-through-u-s-china-taiwan-minefield-11659872556) Southeast Asia’s top diplomats appeared keen to avoid taking sides as Washington-Beijing spat hijacked Asean forum.

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