21 March 2017
Competing visions of the East Asian multilateral order pursued by China and the United States have put a strain on the extant regional architecture. While Sino-U.S. competition in the region has arguably been most visible in the economic sphere and South China Sea disputes, defense multilateralism — in the form of the ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) and the ADMM-Plus — is also a key part of the regional order and would likely be affected by growing major power rivalry.
Currently in their eleventh and seventh years respectively, the ADMM and the ADMM-Plus have typically focused on confidence and capacity building — avoiding the more political sensitive issues. Nevertheless, considering the fluctuations in regional relations that could set the tone for multilateral defense cooperation, it is important to consider the views of ADMM and ADMM-Plus member states on the value and contributions of the two mechanisms to regional stability.
Specifically, what do member states think are the forums’ strengths and challenges, and what are their thoughts on how the ADMM and ADMM-Plus should evolve? To gather these views, interviews were conducted in six ASEAN states and four Plus countries with current and former defense and military practitioners, as well as Track 2 officials and academics familiar with the ADMM and ADMM-Plus arrangements.
… Sarah Teo is Associate Research Fellow with the Regional Security Architecture Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and a Ph.D. candidate at the Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney, Australia.
This article was written with contributions from Associate Professor Bhubhindar Singh, Henrick Z. Tsjeng, and Shawn Ho, all of whom are with the Regional Security Architecture Programme, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 21/03/2017