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International relations

China's ASEAN diplomacy pushes back against US 'encirclement'

Beijing backs summit on Myanmar while courting Malaysia and others

Malaysian Foreign Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, left, bumps elbows with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Nanping, in China's Fujian Province, on April 1.   © Xinhua via AP

SHANGHAI -- China is backing the Association of Southeast Asian Nations' efforts to solve the Myanmar crisis and shoring up ties with its neighbors, in a diplomatic blitz framed by state media as "very easy" pushback against U.S. pressure.

Foreign Minister Wang Yi hosted Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi on Friday and was due to meet the Philippines' Teodoro Locsin the same day, after successive meetings with Singapore's Vivian Balakrishnan on Wednesday and Malaysia's Hishammuddin Hussein on Thursday.

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