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International relations

ASEAN kicks off 3 days of summits as Myanmar threatens credibility

Bloc under growing pressure to show relevance in wake of AUKUS

SINGAPORE -- Top leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations began a series of virtual summits on Tuesday, with multiple challenges hanging over the region's premier diplomatic events of the year.

The meetings -- which run until Thursday and include regionwide discussions as well as talks with key individual partners like the U.S., China, Japan and India -- come amid prolonged political unrest in Myanmar that has cast doubt on the bloc's international relevance. At the same time, the intensifying security rivalry between Washington and Beijing threatens ASEAN's "centrality" in the region.

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