HANOI - LEADERS of 10 southeast Asian countries will try on Thursday to fast-track an ambitious plan to establish a political and economic community by 2015 while hoping to dodge discord over military-ruled Myanmar.

Later in the week, leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) will be joined in Hanoi by colleagues from six Asian powers, including China, Japan and India, for a summit that will highlight Asia's role as the engine of global growth.

The region is once again attracting billions of dollars in capital inflows and its stock markets are among the world's best performers this year.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joins the summit of 16 Asian countries on Saturday, underscoring a drive by the US administration to re-engage with Asia after a period of relative neglect amid unease about China's new assertiveness.

Recent tension between China and Japan over disputed islands will also likely be addressed in talks of some kind between Asia's two largest economies.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will also join the East Asia Summit on Saturday while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is coming to the Vietnamese capital for meetings.

Asean to fast-track 2015 plan