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International relations

China looks to one-up US with face-to-face ASEAN talks

Washington rushes for virtual meeting as vaccines and Myanmar loom large

Foreign ministers from China and ASEAN last met in person during February 2020 to discuss the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- The U.S.-China tug of war for influence in Southeast Asia looks to intensify in the coming weeks with a pair of ministerial meetings in the works, including Beijing's first face-to-face gathering with the regional bloc since early last year.

Beijing and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are planning a meeting of foreign ministers June 7-8, possibly in China, an ASEAN diplomatic source said.

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