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Prime Minister Anthony Albanese arrives in Cambodia ahead of ASEAN and East Asia Summits

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has touched down in Phnom Penh, ahead of crucial talks with South-East Asian leaders likely to be dominated by China's aggression in the region and the effects of the war in Ukraine.

The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) and East Asia Summits coincide with the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Cambodia, as Canberra seeks to build stronger ties with some of its closest neighbours.

It is the first stop in a three summit tour of the region, with Mr Albanese attending the G20 and APEC leaders meetings in Indonesia and Thailand next week.

"We have strategic competition in the region, increased tension, and we want an Indo-Pacific that is peaceful, that is stable, and that is secure," Mr Albanese said before leaving Sydney.

"And that will be my objective in both participating in the three forums over the next nine days, but also in the bilateral meetings that I have scheduled with world leaders over that time."

Mr Albanese is expected to take part in talks with ASEAN leaders on Saturday alongside summit host, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

He will also meet Ukraine's foreign minister, who has been invited to attend, as well as the prime ministers of Vietnam and Laos.

US President Joe Biden is expected to arrive in Cambodia on Saturday, after a brief stopover at the COP27 climate talks in Egypt.

ASEAN's membership will be depleted at the summit, with Myanmar excluded from meetings after last year's military coup overthrew the government.

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Growing fears Myanmar may carry out further executions

The group's other nine member states have been grappling with the conflict in Myanmar, accusing the military junta of failing to commit to an agreed peace plan.

The Australian government has been under considerable pressure to join international sanctions against the regime in Myanmar, with reluctance seeming to stem from the imprisonment of Australian man Sean Turnell.

The 58-year-old economist had been working as an adviser to ousted Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, but was arrested after the military coup.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong has repeatedly said sanctions were under "active consideration", but no decisions have been made since Labor won government in May.

China's seemingly relentless ambitions in the Asia Pacific region, along with ongoing concerns over the North Korean regime's erratic behaviour, will also dominate discussion at the summits.

The prospect of a meeting between Anthony Albanese and Chinese President Xi Jinping is gathering steam, although nothing has been locked in and it is likely such a meeting would happen in Bali or Bangkok.

It would be the first time an Australian Prime Minister has met President Xi since 2019, when then Prime Minister Scott Morrison had a brief "pull aside" meeting with the Chinese leader on the sidelines of the G20 in Japan.

Beijing has had Canberra in its diplomatic freezer for a number of years, since the Turnbull government's decision to lock Chinese telco Huawei out of Australia's 5G network.

Since then, Australia has been hit with significant trade sanctions on a range of products – some of which its taken to international organisations such as the World Trade Organization to challenge.

During the Morrison government, Australian ministers could not get their Chinese counterparts to pick up the phone, let alone meet in person.

Since the May election, the slow thaw has begun — with Defence Minister Richard Marles and Foreign Minister Penny Wong among those to have met Chinese ministers.