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ASEAN Summit Unites Global Powers for Crucial Discussions in Jakarta

On Thursday, the East Asia Summit will bring together Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Chinese Premier Li Qiang, and US Vice President Kamala Harris in Jakarta for a rare chance for formal talks between opposing countries.

Following Prime Minister Li Qiang’s warning that the major powers must keep their disagreements under control to prevent a “new Cold War,” top officials from Beijing and Washington are seated at the same table at the 18-nation summit in the Indonesian capital today.

Days before the G20 meeting in New Delhi, contacts between the leaders of the two biggest economies in the world will be widely observed amid concerns over topics like Taiwan, ties with Moscow, and competitiveness in the Pacific.

Li Qiang said to the leaders on Tuesday that in order to keep these conflicts under control, it was crucial to avoid taking sides, to oppose the conflict between blocs, and to avert a new Cold War. ASEAN is the acronym for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

The necessity of preserving international law in the South China Sea was the topic of separate discussions Kamala Harris had with leaders of Southeast Asia, according to a statement.

Nearly two months after a contentious ASEAN gathering in Jakarta in July during which Westerners questioned Sergei Lavrov about the invasion of Ukraine, Thursday’s summit will also be the first chance for senior US and Russian officials to speak face-to-face. Along with leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), they will be joined by the leaders of Canada, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Japan’s Yoon Suk Yeol, Australia’s Anthony Albanese, and India’s Narendra Modi.

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