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ASEAN Heads of State Summit Starts in Myanmar Today

Today, May 11, in the capital of Myanmar, the culmination of all diplomatic activity in Southeast Asia. The heads of state of ASEAN arrived in Naypyidaw, which united 10 countries of the region. The main topic of the agenda will be conflicts in the South China Sea, as well as issues of regional economic cooperation.

The day before, the foreign ministers of this organization exchanged views, which, for the most part, devoted their time to the conflict in the South China Sea. Recall that recently in this area there have been clashes between ships and ships of different countries, claiming different parts of the Paracel Islands and the Spratly archipelago. So, there was a conflict between the Chinese and Vietnamese courts, and in another place - between the PRC and the Philippines. In total, China, Vietnam, the Philippines, Brunei, Taiwan and Malaysia are applying for these areas.

At the end of the conference held yesterday in Naypyidaw, the ASEAN foreign ministers expressed "serious concern over the development of the situation, which led to the aggravation of conflicts in the South China Sea." ASEAN as a whole is trying to work out a common position on this issue, while China is trying to solve all problems on a bilateral basis with each of the states with whom it has disputes.

In this regard, much attention is drawn to what will be included in the final declaration of the leaders of 10 states of Southeast Asia.

For Myanmar itself, the importance of this summit is hard to overestimate. The right to host the ASEAN summit, which Myanmar received for the first time despite its solid membership in the organization (17 years), means the recognition by the international community of the merits of the country's leadership in moving toward democratization.

The country is now facing difficult problems, there is a discussion of ways to reform the Constitution, reconfigure the overall political structure. The government and the opposition carry on a dialogue with varying success.

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