As tensions between the US and China escalate, questions are being raised about how the ongoing row will affect negotiations at the ASEAN Regional Forum this week.
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is due to arrive in Bali on Thursday to attend the forum, much of which will focus on the conflict in the South China Sea in which China and several ASEAN countries are claimants.
The US has recently increased its involvement in the dispute, allying itself with the Philippines and Vietnam and condemning China's use of force in the Sea.
Ms Clinton's visit to the region follows a spat between the US and China after US President Barack Obama's meeting with the Dalai Lama. China issued a formal protest over the meeting, saying that Washington had grossly interfered in China's internal affairs.
"It could be a rough ARF," said Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, referring to the forum. "The bilateral relationship has not been the best, and this will make it worse."
Read the full story here [Reuters, 19 July 2011]