Currently Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are members of ASEAN. Natalegawa said ASEAN’s failure to stop Myanmar’s military government from committing human rights violations and its silence over the Chinese Coast Guard intercepting a Philippine supply boat in the disputed South China Sea raised questions about the grouping’s relevance.
When leaders of Southeast Asian nations, led by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, gather for their last summit this year, they will focus on Myanmar’s violent civil war, new developments in the disputed South China Sea and a prolonged US-China border dispute. You will be surrounded by issues like the ongoing hostilities with India, for which there is no solution in sight in the near future. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) meeting will begin on Tuesday amid tight security in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta. US President Joe Biden will not participate in it, while usually he has been attending the ASEAN summit. Vice President Kamala Harris will attend it in his place. Indonesia’s minister in charge of political, legal and security affairs told the region’s top diplomats gathered Monday ahead of the ASEAN foreign ministers’ summit that “the community’s strength is being challenged by crisis after crisis” ”
He said the lack of progress in efforts to resolve the Myanmar crisis “has left a negative mark on ASEAN” and warned that heightened geopolitical tensions and rivalries could escalate into an open conflict that our region would be forced to face . Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said a five-point plan drawn up by the leaders would be reviewed in 2021 to help restore peace in Myanmar. After Tuesday’s discussion, leaders of ASEAN countries will hold meetings with their counterparts from Asian and Western countries from Wednesday to Thursday. The US and China and their allies have used the meeting for extensive talks on free trade, climate change and global security. It has also become a battleground for their rivalry. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is expected to attend these meetings as well as the East Asia Summit.
He will meet US Vice President Kamala Harris and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Instead of attending the ASEAN summit, Biden will travel to India to attend the G20 summit and then travel to Vietnam to strengthen ties. Washington has clarified that Biden is not relegating the group to the bottom based on geopolitical priorities and that he is seeking to further strengthen US engagement with the region. Former Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa has expressed disappointment over Biden not attending the ASEAN summit and said such moves are more worrying for ASEAN’s declining relevance. ASEAN, established in 1967 during the Cold War, follows the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of each member country.
It takes decisions by consensus, which means that any member can overrule an unfavorable decision or motion. These rules have attracted groups ranging from new democracies to conservative monarchies, but have also prevented the group from taking punitive action against state-sponsored atrocities. Currently Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam are members of ASEAN. Natalegawa said ASEAN’s failure to stop Myanmar’s military government from committing human rights violations and its silence over the Chinese Coast Guard intercepting a Philippine supply boat in the disputed South China Sea raised questions about the grouping’s relevance.
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