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It's China's moment at Asia meet with Obama absent

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October 8, 2013 10:28 PM EST | AP


BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei — BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Brunei (AP) — Southeast Asian leaders have begun an annual summit and meeting with regional counterparts where China is expected to show its rising global clout, promote trade and talk tough on territorial disputes while President Barack Obama is absent.

Leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations gathered in Brunei on Wednesday before meeting with heads of state from eight countries, including China, Japan, South Korea and India, in two days of closed-door talks and pageantry in the tiny oil-rich kingdom.

Obama was forced to cancel a four-nation swing through Southeast Asia, including attendance in back-to-back summits in Bali, Indonesia and Brunei, to grapple with a budget deadlock that sparked a partial shutdown of the U.S. government. Secretary of State John Kerry filled in.