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A Quick Vanishing Act at an ASEAN Meeting

Now you see it, now you don’t. The foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) conducted a clumsy variation of the magician’s sleight of hand act by issuing a tough joint statement on the South China Sea and then trying to make it quickly disappear. “Incredible – and not in a good way” is how former U.S. Ambassador to the Asian Development Bank Curtis Chin described it. The retraction “underscores both the high stakes involved in the South China Sea and...

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