Going out or staying in
With Australia experiencing its first recession in a generation, potential differences are emerging over whether future prosperity will come from more business integration with high-growth Asia or from preserving capital for economic sovereignty at home.
These, of course,
In this report published by the Brookings Institution, Ben Bland explains why Western nations need to engage with Indonesia in its own right, not as a part of plan to counterbalance China. To do so successfully, they need to develop a much better understanding of the long-running (and ongoing)
On 20 July, after a long period silence on the issue, the Brunei Darussalam Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement declaring that it “maintains its two-step approach in addressing the South China Sea”. As bland as this statement sounds, it represents a critical development in the tiny
On 26 June, the leaders of the ten-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) held their 36th annual summit by video conference, after the in-person summit scheduled for April was postponed because of Covid-19. The pandemic was the main topic of discussions.
Also high on the
On 26 June, leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will meet virtually for their 36th semi-annual summit. The meeting is expected to include a focus on the re-opening of borders and economies post-pandemic, as well as discussions about the continuing tensions in the South
With cruise ships banned from ports around the world, it would not be a stretch to wonder about the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on future military movement as well. Such questions matter, for the practice of sending warships on visits to foreign ports has been an enduring feature of
Around midnight on 2 April, a Vietnamese fishing vessel sank in the disputed waters in the South China Sea after allegedly being rammed by the Chinese coastguard. Vietnam’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs responded swiftly, stating that the act had violated its country’s sovereignty. A similar
For years at the Shangri-La Dialogue, the pre-eminent meeting of defence ministers held in Singapore, successive secretaries of defence from the United States have repeated ad nauseam that Washington is a “resident power” in the region.It is becoming increasingly evident that the Covid-19
The online summit between the leaders of Singapore and Australia on Monday didn’t get much attention amid a stock market meltdown and tensions within Australia’s newly formed federal-state leadership Cabinet to deal with coronavirus.
The virtual meeting made the best
The State of Southeast Asia: 2020 Survey Report, produced by the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute of Singapore, has confirmed the power rivalry between China and United States is one of the primary concerns of Southeast Asian states. The survey of professionals from the business sector, public service,
Analysis as to how Hanoi might resolve its South China Sea disputes with other claimants has been overshadowed by a near exclusive depiction of its competition with Beijing. Hanoi’s current maritime disputes with Beijing have presented few opportunities for strategic progress. Comparatively, the
India’s decision in the final months of last year to withdraw from negotiations for the mega-regional trade agreement known as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) disappointed the countries of Southeast Asia, which are also members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (
Since Malaysia’s remarkable election last year delivered a victory to the Pakatan Harapan coalition, Malaysia’s Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah has been struggling to navigate a region increasingly defined by great power competition, whether in trade or the South China Sea. On a trip to
For two generations, the term “Factory Asia” has neatly encapsulated the essence of the region’s economic success, with components flowing across the region for products mostly ultimately exported to the developed world.
But as Asia embraces its first regionwide trade deal this
Revision season is well underway at the top of the institutions that underpin the globalised economy, those same institutions now in the cross hairs of Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s audit of what Australia gets from globalism.
In the last week, the heads of the
Southeast Asia is a region crucial to China, the geography creating what is known as the “Malacca Strait dilemma” – a strategic chokepoint located between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, it provides China with its shortest maritime access to Europe, Africa, and the
As the world continues to navigate ever-changing geopolitical challenges, one concept generating more than its share of controversy is the “Indo-Pacific”. When the United States highlighted it in its 2017 National Security Strategy paper, Indo-Pacific was defined as the region starting from
It’s official. We live in the Indo-Pacific. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations released a joint statement this week in Bangkok during its annual summit called the “ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific”. It defines the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions as a single interconnected region
This week, diplomats from Australia and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will gather in Malaysia for the 31st ASEAN-Australian Forum. Even with the Australian government so keenly focused on the upcoming federal election, the meeting is an opportunity to discuss ASEAN’s role in tackling
When the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry surveyed its members last year about their use of trade agreements, the ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade Agreement surprisingly emerged as the third best known and used of 14 available trade concession frameworks.
So, it is appropriate
Climate change is one of the world’s most pressing challenges, and one which impacts humanity as a whole. A recent United Nations study indicates that decreasing biodiversity in our food supply is augmenting the peril posed by climate change and a growing population: nearly a quarter of wild food
The ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) – with its unwieldy number of member states (27) and preoccupation with dialogue (a “talk shop”) – has been declared a failure time and again. Some criticism is justified. But it can also be argued that the earliest expectations regarding this regional
Thailand will assume the ASEAN Chairmanship in 2019 after the ASEAN Summit in Singapore this month. This is in keeping with Thailand’s hopes to regain its place of regional leadership. Domestic challenges have inhibited the Thai government from gaining this position in the past. But prioritising
Speaking at the ASEAN summit in Singapore this month, Malaysia’s “new” Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gave counterpart Aung San Suu Kyi a taste of his notoriously acerbic mind. As one of three Muslim leaders present at the gathering, Mahathir made clear Suu Kyi was “defending the
Former senior Australian diplomat Geoff Raby’s substantial article written for the Asia Society and reproduced in the Australian Financial Review this week continues his “realist” approach to discussion of Australia’s foreign policy choices. It’s another piece
On 5 March the USS Carl Vinson made a port call to Danang, in central Vietnam. It was the first time since the War (the Vietnam War to Americans, and the American War to Vietnamese) that a US aircraft carrier anchored in Vietnamese waters – by invitation this time – for an official visit.
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
Sitting in the largely lifeless media centre of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s $56-million grand diplomatic gambit, it was hard not to be struck by the irony of Australia’s earnest embrace of the ASEAN way, with its emphasis on consultation and non-intervention.
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
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
Membership or not
Our experience with Vietnam and the Philippines over the past few years only serves to show why the newly revived idea of Australia joining the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) is like stepping through Lewis Carroll’s looking glass.
Only a short time ago, the
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
The ongoing debate about whether ASEAN (still) matters, and how important it is for Australia, could not be more ASEAN in style.
Euan Graham and John Blaxland represent the two major camps: ASEAN-enthusiasts and ASEAN-sceptics. The truth is that they both are right
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
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
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
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
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
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 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
Australia can use its economic diplomacy to manage economic risks in the region, and should engage with the International Monetary Fund and regional partners to close gaps in crisis response arrangements (Photo: Getty Images/Thomas Mnller
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
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
Saudi Aramco, Riyadh's state-owned oil behemoth, has been investing heavily in Malaysia's economy, injecting $7 billion into the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project – a contribution that tops ASEAN's merger and acquisition activity for the first half of 2017. Thanks
The prospect of the foreign policy White Paper emerging as a longer term bipartisan framework must be in doubt after the Labor Party demanded this week that its Asian Century document be treated as the key foundation.
This is more than simple political point scoring because the
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.