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Myanmar question is forcing ASEAN to remake itself

Many fear that overt displays of disharmony will do long-term damage

Indonesian President Joko Widodo, center, delivers his press statement following ASEAN leaders' meeting in Jakarta in April 2021: strong regional organizations can only be forged through a crisis. (Handout photo from Indonesian Presidential Palace)   © AP

Ben Bland is the director of the Southeast Asia program at the Lowy Institute and the author of "Man of Contradictions: Joko Widodo and the Struggle to Remake Indonesia."

From the European Union to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, there is a conundrum at the heart of every regional organization: they exist to project unity but also to manage internal conflicts.

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