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Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) pose for a group photo during the opening ceremony of the ASEAN leaders summit in Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday, June 23, 2019. Photo: AP

ASEAN leaders call for restraint amid sea row, US-China rift

WT24 Desk

Bangkok — Southeast Asian leaders have pressed their call for self-restraint in the disputed South China Sea after a new incident and renewed their alarm over the U.S.-China trade war with one warning it may spiral out of control, AP reports.

The long-raging territorial conflicts and the protracted dispute between the two global economic powerhouses are high on the agenda of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders meeting Sunday in an annual summit in the Thai capital of Bangkok.

Facing predicaments such as the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar, the leaders took the stage and clasped their hands together in a trademark ASEAN handshake to project unity.

The 10-nation bloc lumps together an absolute monarchy and constitutional monarchies, along with socialist republics and fledgling democracies.

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