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ASEAN leaders attend welcome dinner ahead of summit

Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 00:54

May 10 - Southeast Asian leaders attend welcome dinner for ASEAN Summit in Myanmar, a weekend of meetings overshadowed by the South China Sea dispute. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Leaders and government representatives of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations attended a welcome dinner hosted by Myanmar on Saturday before they joined talks overshadowed by the South China Sea dispute. Southeast Asian foreign ministers voiced "serious concerns" on Saturday over naval clashes between Vietnam and China as the regional group's top official urged Beijing to step up efforts to advance talks on maritime security. Foreign ministers and heads of state of the 10-member bloc are facing a test of unity at their summit this weekend as some members expressed alarm over China's growing assertiveness in the disputed South China Sea and pushed for a strong joint statement. In their statement, ASEAN foreign ministers on Saturday called for "an early conclusion" of the code of conduct and expressed concern about "increased tensions in the area". At the summit, which ends on Sunday, countries including Vietnam and the Philippines are pushing for a strong statement, while others - mindful of China's economic weight - are reluctant to directly criticize Beijing, diplomats said. Myanmar, which is chairing ASEAN for the first time this year, signaled a softer approach to China.

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ASEAN leaders attend welcome dinner ahead of summit

Saturday, May 10, 2014 - 00:54