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International relations

Indonesia faces three challenges as ASEAN's next chair

Myanmar, East Timor and South China Sea issues already divide the bloc

JAKARTA -- As Indonesia prepares to assume the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2023, it is puzzling out how best to tackle three potentially divisive diplomatic challenges -- the governance situation in Myanmar, which suffered a military takeover nearly two years ago; territorial disputes with China in the South China Sea; and East Timor's application to join the bloc.

At ASEAN meetings next year, Indonesia intends to keep the primary focus on expanding blocwide economic cooperation. Jakarta also will endeavor to build consensuses on food and energy security, a plan to rebuild severed supply chains and other issues.

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