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ASEAN countries

China keen on military drills with Asean, insists on keeping US out

SINGAPORE: China wants to stage joint military exercises with Southeast Asian nations in disputed waters, according to a draft document, but insists other countries should be excluded in what analysts say is a bid to diminish US influence. Beijing’s suggestions, which also call for joint oil and gas exploration, are part of efforts to expand its influence in the South China Sea, which it claims almost entirely, and push back at Washington which has backed countries with overlapping claims to the waters. The move came…