01 May 2017
Much attention has been paid to how the recently concluded 30th ASEAN Summit has dealt with the South China Sea dispute.
While this issue remains undoubtedly important for ASEAN, it should not be seen as the association’s raison d’etre. ASEAN has a broad agenda that includes regional economic integration, promoting defence relations and socio-cultural cooperation, all of which are essential to its role as the central regional institution in Southeast Asia.
That said, now is perhaps an opportune time for ASEAN to strengthen its regional security credentials by paying more attention to the challenge on the Korean Peninsula.
Considering the current salience of Korean Peninsular security to Beijing and Washington, this could help to enhance ASEAN’s relevance and importance to both major powers. This is particularly timely given the upcoming meeting between ASEAN foreign ministers and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington DC on May 4.
… Shawn Ho and Sarah Teo are associate research fellows with the Regional Security Architecture Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) at Nanyang Technological University.
IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 02/05/2017