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Vietnam's lost year: Coronavirus dulls diplomatic ambitions

Southeast Asia's packed diplomatic schedule is frozen amid pandemic

Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-Ocha hands over the ASEAN chairmanship to his Vietnamese counterart, Nguyen Xuan Phuc, at the closing  of the 35th ASEAN Summit in November 2019 in Bangkok.   © Reuters

BANGKOK -- Vietnam's ambitions to raise its stature in Southeast Asia and the broader international community as the chair of ASEAN this year have been derailed by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted interactions between people and nations.

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