Friday 20 Apr 2018 | 12:56 | SYDNEY
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Asean

The urgent need for leadership on the Rohingya crisis

Jubaida is one of a million refugees in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh. When she thinks back six months, her memories of playing marbles with friends rest oddly alongside episodes of torture, death, and images of the burning home her family fled. She is 11. Jubaida, her parents, sister, and three

What DFAT really thinks of Australia joining ASEAN

Ahead of Malcolm Turnbull’s weekend confab for South East Asian leaders, Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo reportedly thought it would be a “good idea” if Australia joined ASEAN. Lowy’s Aaron Connelly is dubious. Reality check: Australia has not been invited to join ASEAN, and will not

Australia, Asia, and the “Wealth of Nations”

How does Australia’s economy align with those of our Asian neighbours? What are the development challenges facing nearby South East Asian countries? And just how large is China’s economy? These questions are of particular interest this week as the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit is held in Sydney

ASEAN is not South East Asia

The upcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit has led to a surge in analysis of the Association of South East Asian Nations and Australia-ASEAN relations in Australia. In February, ASPI released a special report by Graeme Dobell recommending Australia seek ASEAN membership claiming that ASEAN

ASEAN matters and deserves credit

Euan Graham has given a glass half-empty explanation of the significance of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) in an attempt to explain Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s enthusiasm for the forthcoming ASEAN-Australia Special Summit in March. In fact, there is good cause for the

Is ASEAN still central to Australia?

In March, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will welcome the ten leaders of ASEAN to Sydney for a special summit focusing on business and security ties. This is the first time Australia has hosted ASEAN. By any definition, it is a significant event in Canberra's diplomatic calendar, with the

The China factor in India’s commitment to ASEAN

India will host ASEAN leaders as its chief guests during the commemoration of the country's 69th Republic Day on 26 January, reflecting the importance New Delhi places on relations with South East Asia. India's much-vaunted Look East policy, launched in the early 1990s as part of a concerted

ASEAN fries small fish from a big pond

Even as the Association of South East Asian Nations celebrates its 50th year, the summit held in Manila this week served to highlight the fundamental faults within the bloc. But there are glimmers of hope for the millions who live in ASEAN countries despite the at times molasses-like processes

ASEAN summit should focus on the possible

Close observers of ASEAN's peak summitry often note the blandness of the final communiqués. The forum remains crippled by the consensus-based nature of decision-making and a policy of non-interference in the domestic affairs of member states. So while some may talk up big statements on

Mattis front and centre at ASEAN defence talks

Defence ministers from across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as well as counterparts from the US, Russia, China, South Korea, Japan, India, Australia and New Zealand descended on Manila for the 11th ASEAN Defense Ministers' Meeting (ADMM) earlier this week. The meetings typically

Myanmar’s evolving maritime security landscape

Myanmar links South and Southeast Asia and lies on maritime shipping routes from the Indian and Pacific Oceans. A key pillar of its national development agenda is establishing an efficient and integrated transport system to become Asia's newest maritime hub. Recent political and economic reforms

A bleak view of Southeast Asia

ASEAN's 50th anniversary last month prompted one enthusiastic commentator to suggest that the organisation deserves a Nobel Prize but a recently published book by a long-time observer of Southeast Asian politics offers a rather more sceptical view.  In Blood and Silk: Power and Conflict in

Timor-Leste’s critical window on ASEAN

Amid the celebrations of ASEAN's 50th birthday last week, the question of whether Timor-Leste will soon be granted full membership lingers. ASEAN membership is the cornerstone of Timor-Leste's foreign policy. In March 2011, Timor-Leste applied for formal membership to ASEAN while Indonesia was

Australia and ASEAN: The next 50 years

Australia's future, and our future prosperity, are inevitably in Asia.   Julia Gillard pointed to this in 2012 when she launched the ‘Australia in the Asian Century’ White Paper, saying 'whatever else this century brings, it will bring Asia's return to global leadership, Asia’s rise.

All eyes on North Korea at ASEAN

Just over a year ago, Manila was celebrating an unprecedented international ruling in its favour against China in the disputed South China Sea. This weekend, the city played host to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Ministerial Meeting, but every trace of enthusiasm for the

ASEAN Summit: An exercise in omission

Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits are largely defined by what is left unresolved and unsaid, rather than what is acknowledged in the chair statements. The 30th Summit, hosted by the Philippines over the weekend, was certainly no exception, with migrant worker rights and the

Don’t waste time trying to get Trump to Manila

Over the last two months, Australian and Southeast Asian officials have been urging their US counterparts to ensure President Donald Trump shows up at two major summits in Southeast Asia in November. They argue that Trump's presence at the APEC Forum in Danang and the East Asian Summit in Manila

ASEAN Summit: South China Sea dispute the uncredited star

Despite boasting some of the world's biggest names on its guest list, the star at this year's ASEAN Summit was not a world leader but the Philippines' victory at the Hague in its dispute with Beijing regarding the South China Sea. Leaders from all ten members, China's Premier Li Keqiang and US