In Manila this week, ASEAN faces difficult balance between US and China

Peace and Freedom

 7
Workers install a giant lantern with the logo of ASEAN, Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in preparation for the Aug. 2-8, 2017 50th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and its dialogue partners at the Thursday, Aug. 3, 2017, in Manila, Philippines. AP/Bullit Marquez

MANILA, Philippines — As the foreign ministers of Southeast Asian Nations meet in Manila, the regional bloc sees the need to strengthen itself as an institution while facing a tough balancing act between the US and China.

The meetings in Manila are expected to demonstrate the difficult position ASEAN countries found themselves in as they try to align their interests with or against those of the Americans and Chinese, whose foreign ministers will also be in Manila for a security forum.

Without engagement with the two economic powers, ASEAN, an amalgamation of democracies, monorchies…

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