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PRAGUE — It is tempting for Europeans to project their own history onto Asia and to view current developments there as a mere repetition, if not an imitation, of what occurred in Europe. In fact, Asians encourage this temptation, with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) openly aiming to become increasingly like the European Union.

In trying to decipher Asia’s diplomatic future, Europeans are confronted, so to speak, with an “embarrassment of riches.” Is Asia today replaying the balance of power games of late 19th-century Europe, with China in the role of Germany? Or is South Asia, through the growth of ASEAN, poised to one day become the Far Eastern equivalent of the EU?

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