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ASEAN makes deals but no progress on South China Sea, Myanmar

Indonesia chair focuses on economy, investment over geopolitical issues

Indonesian President Joko Widodo shakes hands with Laotian Prime Minister Sonexay Siphandone during the handover of ASEAN's presidency at the closing ceremony of the ASEAN Summit in Jakarta.    © Pool photo/Reuters

JAKARTA -- Southeast Asian leaders ended their annual summit on Thursday with their eyes on over $38 billion worth of deals but the three days of intense talks failed to yield solutions to critical issues, including tensions in the South China Sea and conflict in Myanmar.

The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations held marathon meetings in Jakarta, where discussions with bigger powers, including China, shone a light on deep divisions around crucial security issues.

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