Country-level pragmatic calculations may contribute to more peaceful relations among claimant states, but risk driving ASEAN into total irrelevance as China shapes the regional agenda on its own terms.
Backers of the Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity 2025 have called for cooperation between it and China’s 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, but the shift in geopolitical calculations resulting from such a partnership could cost ASEAN more than it bargained for.
Once celebrated as a model multilateral organization and an agent of positive regional change, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is in disarray. On July 12, a tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague issued a judgment on the South China Sea that is widely seen as a victory for ASEAN […]
The Philippines’ newly minted president couldn’t have asked for a more high-profile diplomatic debut when he attended this week’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit, which saw the participation of the leaders from across the Asia Pacific, including the United States, Japan, China, Russia, and India, along with the secretary-general of the United Nations. […]
Following the U.S.-ASEAN leaders’ summit tensions rise, testing international rules and norms
China may be gaining the strategic upper-hand in the ongoing scramble in the South China Sea thanks to its newly-built artificial islands, but it is facing increasing backlash in the region. Neighboring states as well as external powers have stepped up their diplomatic pressure on Beijing, while coordinating their efforts at safeguarding freedom of […]
At regional meetings in Kuala Lumpur this week, China attempted to reassure regional nations of its peaceful intentions and deflect attention from its destabilizing activities in the Spratly Island chain in the South China Sea. Speaking to reporters, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that Beijing had halted dredging sand to build artificial islands. “China […]
In 2002, ASEAN and China signed the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea (DOC) that promised to “enhance favourable conditions for a peaceful and durable solution of differences and disputes among countries concerned.” Unfortunately, thirteen years on, the claimant countries are no closer to a solution for any of the […]
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter’s address at this weekend’s Shangri-La Dialogue was generally well received by conference attendees and Asia-security watchers. A few critics have argued that Carter was “just talk.” What none have noted, however, is the fact that the Secretary’s remarks were the latest installation in a series of moves by the administration […]
China is far from a monolithic power. Its rapid ascent has transformed it into both a centripetal force of integration as well as a centrifugal force of fragmentation. Earlier this year, China managed to pull off a major strategic coup against the United States (U.S.) by astutely convincing almost all relevant economies in Asia and […]