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International relations

Yves Tiberghien: Should the world yawn, cheer or fear November's summits?

Asean's consensus-based approach to decision-making is sometimes seen as a hurdle to efficiency.

For a week in November, an unusual cluster of globally significant economic summits will take place in the Asia-Pacific region: the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting in Beijing (Nov. 10-11), the East Asia Summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting in Naypyidaw, Myanmar (Nov. 11-12), and the G-20 meeting of the world's biggest economies in Brisbane, Australia (Nov. 15-16). 

     What the world will see is a flurry of large meetings, accompanied by bilateral and multilateral encounters, including an official visit by U.S. President Barack Obama to China, and probably a meeting between Chinese and Japanese leaders. This may be the highest concentration of diplomatic activity in years. But does it matter? Should we yawn, cheer or fear and what is at stake?

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