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ASEAN, East Asian Leaders Meet to Discuss Economic, Political Concerns


Leaders of Southeast nations and their neighbors are meeting in Hanoi to discuss economic and political concerns.

The leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are holding talks Friday with Japan, South Korea, and China before meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

Concerns are expected to be raised about Burma's elections and China's increasingly assertive claims on maritime territories.

ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan said Thursday that discussions are mainly about economic concerns.

"Next year there might be some challenges for us, for our own recovery, because the … of the lack of progress and dynamism in the traditional Western markets. So, they expressed some concern about that and that's the reason why we have to commit ourselves more actively in creating our own market, our own purchasing power," he said.

Also on Friday, the foreign ministers of Japan and China met on the sidelines of the ASEAN conference, to discuss ways to improve their tense relationship.

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