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ASEAN has to take itself more seriously before asking the world to

Wishful denial of geopolitical realities will leave the bloc a bystander

| Southeast Asia
A meeting of Southeast Asian foreign ministers at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta on Oct. 27: The bloc is only muddling through amid mounting geopolitical challenges.   © Reuters

Huong Le Thu is principal policy fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre, a think tank based at the University of Western Australia, and a nonresident fellow in the Southeast Asia program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Southeast Asia's aspirations of playing a central role in global politics will be in focus this month as Indonesia hosts the Group of 20 summit, Thailand welcomes the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Cambodia convenes the East Asia Summit and other ASEAN events.

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