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The Future of Asia 2017

ASEAN at 50: Carry on soul searching?

The bloc must streamline decision-making as global tensions rise

| China

The slogan of ASEAN 2017 under its Philippine chairmanship -- "Partnership for Changes, Engaging the World" -- is telling. After five decades of existence, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations continues to do what it has always done best -- soul searching.

But as the 10 leaders of ASEAN countries prepare for their 30th summit in Manila on April 29, the familiar regional and international environment in which they have operated is undergoing radical change. The grouping faces disruptive new challenges at a time when its members are themselves growing stronger economically and becoming more self-confident and assertive in their international dealings.

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