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Editorial: ASEAN's biggest challenge is confronting China

At 50, the bloc must find unity to stand up to Beijing's power plays

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has made great strides in its 50-year history. From its start as a grouping of anti-Communist states formed against the backdrop of the Cold War, the bloc has evolved into a framework for regional cooperation with a major presence in the international community. But ASEAN, which marked the anniversary of its founding on Aug. 8, now faces a number of new challenges.

America's leadership, which has long served as the cornerstone for regional order in Asia, has faltered, while China has substantially increased its influence in an apparent attempt to establish regional hegemony. The challenge for ASEAN is how to address this seismic shift in the region's political landscape.

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