Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN)

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  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN): Cooperation Problems on Human Rights

    Though the original focus of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was primarily economic cooperation, the adoption of the ASEAN charter in November 2007 officially included cooperation on human rights. This article examines three hypotheses to determine the causes of cooperation problems: regime type, non-interference policy, and absence of an enforcement mechanism in the ASEAN charter.

    January 2012

    Priya Suresh asked: China's foreign policy is becoming more assertive. Is this assertiveness of China seen as a threat by ASEAN countries?

    Rahul Mishra replies: China’s foreign policy has traditionally been considered hawkish, which is evident from China’s long-standing territorial disputes with its neighbours, and the wars it fought in the past. It was only after the end of the Cold War that China started projecting its benign image. The recent Chinese moves on the Spratly and Paracel islands disputes have however tarnished this image.

    Within the ASEAN member countries, there are varying perceptions and responses to China’s assertive behaviour.

    For instance, while countries like Indonesia and Singapore tread a cautious approach in dealing with China by keeping the US on their side. Malaysia, Laos and Myanmar are to a great extent positive about China and its rise. This goes in contrast to the Philippines and Vietnam, which have no intention to strike a compromise deal with China on the South China issue.

    As an institution, ASEAN considers engaging China through multilateral forums as its best strategy. China is also considered a partner country, which has helped ASEAN come out of a number of crises in the past. However, one cannot deny the fact that it was the Southeast Asian threat perception of China, which led to formation of ASEAN in 1967. The same persists even today, though manifestations are different.

    Therefore, what is apparent at the national level, gets transformed when the constituent countries of ASEAN come together as a unit on a matter of concern; thus resulting in ASEAN’s balanced approach towards China.

    Southeast Asia-India Defence Relations in the Changing Regional Security Landscape

    Southeast Asia-India Defence Relations in the Changing Regional Security Landscape

    The study analyses the nature of Southeast Asia-India defence relations, the reasons for the growth in ties and more important, the consequences of the defence relations.


    Mosaics of Cultures: Investigating the Role of Cultural Linkages in India-Indonesia Relations

    The cultural linkages between India and Indonesia have to be leveraged, as a foreign policy tool, to take India-Indonesia relations to the next level.

    January 19, 2011

    PM’s visit to Malaysia and Vietnam

    As India deepens its strategic engagement with the countries of South East Asia, ASEAN needs to make up its mind on the mechanisms required to tackle core security issues instead of outsourcing them to a multitude of organisations.

    November 08, 2010

    The Second US-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in New York

    The second US-ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting in New York hints at concerns about China’s assertiveness and acknowledges a role for US balancing.

    October 07, 2010

    Indonesia’s New Foreign Policy - ‘Thousand friends- zero enemy’

    Indonesia is trying to gain the leadership position in Southeast Asia through constructive and cooperative gestures and balanced bargaining between major powers.

    August 23, 2010

    Locating Singapore in India’s Strategic Radar

    India needs to engage Singapore more robustly so as to enable the forging of deeper and more broad-based friendships in the Southeast Asian region through Singapore’s good offices.

    April 01, 2010

    Dynamics of Indo-Myanmar Economic Ties

    Clearly, there is immense scope for cooperation between India and Myanmar to deal in agro-based products, floriculture, engineering, timber and tobacco and expand business cooperation. Although there has been a significant increase in bilateral trade in recent years, full potential has yet to be realised.

    January 06, 2010

    North-East India as a Factor in India's Diplomatic Engagement with Myanmar: Issues and Challenges

    In recent years India, along with China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, has been following a policy of diplomatic engagement with Myanmar. India has also clarified its diplomatic stand that such a policy engagement will positively serve its national interests.

    November 2009