The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) was established as an autonomous organization in 1968. It is a regional centre dedicated to the study of socio-political, security and economic trends and developments in Southeast Asia and its wider geostrategic and economic environment. The Institute’s research programmes are the Regional Economic Studies (RES, including ASEAN and APEC), Regional Strategic and Political Studies (RSPS), and Regional Social and Cultural Studies (RSCS). ISEAS Publications, an established academic press, has issued more than 1,000 books and journals. It is the largest scholarly publisher of research about Southeast Asia from within the region. ISEAS Publications works with many other academic and trade publishers and distributors to disseminate important research and analyses from and about Southeast Asia to the rest of the world. The Southeast Asia Background Series is a major component of the Public Outreach objective of ISEAS in promoting a better awareness among the general public about trends and developments in Southeast Asia. The books published in the Southeast Asia Background Series are made possible by a generous grant from the K.S. Sandhu Memorial Fund.


sg • Website: bookshop. without the prior permission of the Institute of Southeast Asian 2.5 A9S491 2008 ISBN 978-981-230-750-7 (hardcover) Typeset by International Typesetters Pte Ltd Printed in Singapore by Seng Lee Press Pte Ltd . Regionalism—Southeast Asia. electronic. ASEAN. mechanical. 3. recording or otherwise. (Southeast Asia Background Series) ISEAS Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data All rights reserved.First published in Singapore in 2008 by ISEAS Publications Institute of Southeast Asian Studies 30 Heng Mui Keng Terrace. photocopying. ASEAN. Pasir Panjang Singapore 119614 E-mail: publish@iseas. Singapore The responsibility for facts and opinions in this publication rests exclusively with the author and his interpretations do not necessarily reflect the views or the policy of the publisher or its supporters. stored in a retrieval system. Title JZ5333. © 2008 Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. or transmitted in any form or by any means. Rodolfo C. Regionalism (International organization) I. No part of this publication may be reproduced.

Contents About the Author 1 2 3 4 5 6 Beginnings and Expansion ASEAN and Regional Security ASEAN and the Regional Economy Working Together for the Common Good Relations with the Rest of the World Building a Community References vi 1 11 41 59 79 103 111 v .

and Beijing. among other assignments in the Philippine Foreign Service. He had been Philippine Ambassador to Malaysia. 1992–97. C. . Published by ISEAS..About the Author Rodolfo C. D. Severino is a Visiting Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. where he completed the book Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN Community. the book is animated by the insights gained by the author when he was ASEAN Secretary-General in 1998– 2002 and from his years as ASEAN Senior Official for the Philippines. which included postings in Washington. His last position in the Philippine Government was that of Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs. He is a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila University and of the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies.

Economic. Deputy Prime Minister. five men representing five Southeast Asian countries signed in the Thai capital of Bangkok a declaration establishing a new regional association — the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. had five preambular and five operative paragraphs. and Thanat Khoman. scientific and administrative collaboration. Narciso Ramos. 1 . The document that they signed. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Singapore. social. social progress and cultural development. S. It pledged their governments to seven “aims and purposes”: • • • • Economic growth. Regional peace and stability.Chapter 1 Beginnings and Expansion On 8 August 1967. Tun Abdul Razak. Minister for Defence and Minister for National Development of Malaysia. Minister for Foreign Affairs of Thailand. Mutual assistance in training and research. technical. Presidium Minister for Political Affairs and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia. The five men were Adam Malik. cultural. Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines. entitled the ASEAN Declaration and thereafter also known as the Bangkok Declaration. Rajaratnam.

the new association was the first to seek to bring all of Southeast Asia — the area between the South Asian sub-continent in the west and the Pacific Ocean in the east and between China. MAPHILINDO lasted only from 1963 until ASEAN superseded it in 1967. ASA existed formally from 1961 to 1967. Indonesia. transportation and communications. these were narrow in purpose and limited in base and scope. trade. Underlying these objectives was the common determination of the five countries to live in peace with one another. Both had rather short lives. there were existing regional inter-state organizations in Southeast Asia. and to cooperate with one another for common purposes. closing down shortly after ASEAN was formed. the Philippines and Indonesia. principles and purposes”. . and the states of mainland Southeast Asia other than Thailand. and the improvement of living standards. To be sure. The other was the Association of Southeast Asia (ASA) among Malaysia.2 ASEAN • • • Collaboration in agriculture and industry. MAPHILINDO consisted of the three Malaybased populations of Southeast Asia and sought to subsume their conflicting territorial claims and ideological differences. Japan and Korea in the north and Australia in the south — into one inter-governmental organization. Promotion of Southeast Asian studies. ASA confined itself to economic and cultural purposes and excluded the largest country in the region. and Cooperation with regional and international organizations. One was the MAPHILINDO of Malaysia. to settle their disputes peacefully rather than by force. Proclaiming itself in the Bangkok Declaration to be “open for participation to all States in the South-East Asian Region subscribing to (its) aims. the Philippines and Thailand. However.

Beginnings and Expansion 3 On the other hand. as well as the United Nations and its agencies. sought to broaden and deepen their association with it. The people of Indonesia were overwhelmingly Muslim . not only has ASEAN remained alive for more than 40 years. after the unification of Vietnam and the consolidation of Laos under a new regime in 1975. it has constantly adjusted to changing times — albeit not sufficiently. However. UNPROMISING CIRCUMSTANCES ASEAN was born in the most unpromising circumstances. being anxious to preserve their status as resolutely non-aligned nations and were suspicious of the orientation of the new association in the Cold War. By 1999. ASEAN explicitly pronounced itself open to membership to all Southeast Asian nations. ASEAN imposed no limits on its ambitions and goals as a regional entity and set for itself a comprehensive array of objectives for regional cooperation. The major powers. have. Subsequently. Despite periodic predictions of its demise. the ministers of ASEAN’s founding nations had sought the inclusion of Burma and Cambodia as original members. a process cut short by the Vietnamese entry into Cambodia towards the end of 1978. After the settlement of the Cambodian conflict in 1991–93. Indeed. As noted above. which has expressed its desire to join ASEAN eventually). which was then at its height. in a continuing process. ASEAN did so again. To begin with. ASEAN reached out to the Indochinese states. according to its critics — and has served as the hub and manager of a growing number of broad regional enterprises. the founding nations were marked by great diversity. both countries turned down the invitations. ASEAN had embraced all of Southeast Asia (until the emergence in 2002 of the new nation of Timor-Leste.

Thailand was predominantly Theravada Buddhist. Indonesia remained non-aligned. and the Spanish and then the Americans in the Philippines. and established new patterns of trade. The Philippines was formally allied with the United States. Singapore and Thailand had significant Muslim minorities. Those legacies brought forth a variety of national experiences and produced upon independence a diversity of national institutions. the Dutch in Indonesia. ethnic and religious groups straddled national boundaries. Only Thailand escaped Western colonial rule (but not Western pressure) by dint of astute Thai diplomacy and the unresolved stalemate between the British and the French on mainland Southeast Asia. Malaysia was made up of the Malay sultanates and the Strait Settlements (Singapore having broken off in 1965) on the Malay Peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak across the South China Sea. Their different colonial legacies had drawn curtains of ignorance and separation between the nations of Southeast Asia. They also shaped divergent strategic outlooks.4 ASEAN in religion but blessed with a wide variety of cultural traits. Not least. The ebb and flow of migrants and traders throughout maritime Southeast Asia had been interrupted by colonial rule — the British in Malaysia and Singapore. cut off thitherto flourishing contacts among their peoples. Thailand had a defence commitment from the U. Singapore was a multi-ethnic society built on racial and religious tolerance and equilibrium. New Zealand and the United Kingdom in the Five-Power Defence Arrangement. The Philippines.S. Malaysia and Singapore had joined Australia. From colonial rule and the subsequent formation of new states had emerged a number of territorial and other political disputes among the maritime states of Southeast Asia . and the Philippines Christian. It was politically controlled by Malay Muslims but economically dominated by Chinese Malaysians.

including post-Sukarno Indonesia. dragging in Cambodia and Laos. Paradoxically enough. It was also to keep Southeast Asia from being an arena for the quarrels of the strong. Malaysia and Singapore had undergone an acrimonious separation. The Cold War was at peak intensity. Feeling besieged by the Soviet Union in the north and the United States in the south. They did so in order to be able to manage their disputes amicably and prevent them from developing into conflict. Indonesia had just abandoned its policy of “confrontation” against Malaysia and Singapore. and to the alliances that most of them had with the West. between Malaysia and Singapore. It was to transcend their ethnic. The excesses of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution in China had spilled over to its south. would help in advancing national development.Beginnings and Expansion 5 — between Malaysia and Indonesia. there was hope — vague at the time — that regional cooperation. between Malaysia and the Philippines. . China was explicitly hostile to the Southeast Asian states. the Vietnam conflict was raging. and upsetting the stability of the region as a whole. as well as regional stability. It was to bridge the gaps of ignorance and alienation between them. It was to dissipate the mutual suspicions among them. felt threatened by communist insurgencies and subversion. exacerbating the mutual hostility between China and ASEAN’s founding nations. cultural and religious differences in the pursuit of their common interests. it was also these circumstances that impelled the founding states. The Philippines continued to lay claim to the North Borneo territory that had joined Malaysia as the state of Sabah. moreover. At the same time. in their wisdom. It was in these unpromising circumstances that ASEAN was born. which. threatening Thailand. In the broader region of Southeast Asia. to establish ASEAN.

such as. Another was the mutual reassurance that no member-state would interfere in another’s domestic affairs. and Kukrit Pramoj of Thailand — codified the regional norms for . Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. THE FIRST SUMMIT After nine years of feeling their way in regional cooperation and building relationships. Another would be in the cooperative development of the regional economy. eventually. At that first summit. the ASEAN leaders — Soeharto of Indonesia. Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. racial and religious divisions and other problems within its neighbours in order to advance its own national agenda. in consultations and dialogue on regional security and stability. for example. from the conflicts and tensions of the Cold War. ASEAN’s founding states took a major step forward by holding its first summit meeting in Bali in February 1976. Another interest was in insulating the region. ASEAN was to engage the major powers in benign and constructive ways in the affairs of the region — first in its economic development and. Another interest was in healing the divisions of Southeast Asia when global and regional conditions permitted it. to the extent possible. This was to be ensured by developing networks of leaders.6 ASEAN ASEAN was to be the venue and process in which common interests would be identified and pursued in cooperative ways. Hussein Onn of Malaysia. by exploiting ethnic. ministers and officials and a culture and habits of consultation and dialogue. At the same time. One interest was in the peaceful management of disputes and problems between Southeast Asian countries. Underlying all this would be the cultivation of national and personal stakes among the states and peoples of Southeast Asia in regional cooperation and consensus.

. this process was interrupted when Vietnam invaded Cambodia and. the Soviet Union being perceived as Vietnam’s principal supporter. subversion or coercion. ASEAN reached out to a unified Vietnam and a consolidated Laos after the Indochina conflict had come to an end. ASEAN resisted it. equality. The peaceful settlement of disputes. Fourteen nations outside ASEAN have subsequently acceded to the treaty. Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another. and Effective cooperation among themselves. ASEAN’s founding nations envisioned all of Southeast Asia within the association. As laid down in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.Beginnings and Expansion 7 inter-state relations in the region. territorial integrity and national identity of all nations. Freedom from external interference. these norms were: • • • • • • Respect for the independence. Although the purpose of the action was to overthrow the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia and to end its depredations against the Vietnamese communities in the Vietnam-Cambodia border areas. Accordingly. Renunciation of the threat or use of force. feeling threatened by a perceived Vietnamese expansionism and concerned over the possible spread of Soviet power. sovereignty. However. at the beginning of 1979. the region’s Cold-War and Vietnam-War divisions healed. The summit also established a rudimentary central secretariat and formalized the ministerial forum for economic cooperation. HEALING THE DIVIDE From the beginning. seized Phnom Penh.

the entry of four new members increased both ASEAN’s political. and the establishment of an elected Cambodian government in 1993. Regional peace and stability. With that. closing the divisions between ASEAN and non-ASEAN and between maritime and mainland Southeast Asia. Laos and Cambodia. the way was clear for the membership of Vietnam. This has since been regarded as a major contribution to regional peace and stability. Following the agreed redistribution of political power in Phnom Penh. the calculation goes. would be better served by a Southeast Asia together within ASEAN than by a region split into ASEAN and non-ASEAN. from centrally planned to market economies and were suffering . Laos and Myanmar followed on 23 July 1997. factional fighting within the Cambodian government earlier in July delayed its ASEAN membership. Thus. economic. To be sure. as well as of Myanmar (as Burma had been in the meantime renamed). Vietnam was admitted into ASEAN on 28 July 1995. each in its own way. the 1991 Paris settlement of the Cambodian problem. all four were making transitions.8 ASEAN Meanwhile. Brunei Darussalam had joined ASEAN on 7 January 1984. Cambodia was to have been admitted on the same occasion. After the withdrawal of Vietnamese forces from Cambodia in 1989. cultural and historical diversity and the complexity of ASEAN’s decision-making processes. principles and purposes” and that they would accede to all ASEAN agreements. all of Southeast Asia had come into the ASEAN family. Moreover. after a brief period as observer. Cambodia finally gained admission into ASEAN on 30 April 1999. The only conditions were that the prospective members were to adhere to ASEAN’s “aims. six days after achieving independent nationhood. However.

Yet. stability and solidarity. having a stake in regional peace.Beginnings and Expansion 9 from shortages of human skills and institutional weaknesses. this diversity and the new members’ needs had made it all the more necessary to bring the entirety of Southeast Asia into ASEAN. . and benefiting from regional economic and social cooperation. with all countries in Southeast Asia taking part in the regional consensus.

only one refers to regional peace and security. who. compilers. social. from the beginning. The downplaying of political and security matters was deliberate. and the promotion of Southeast Asian studies. ASEAN’s larger purposes had to do mainly with regional peace and security — although. In The ASEAN Reader (K. it is clear that. Yet. The rest have to do with economic. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. looked back to the association’s founding and wrote: But why did this region need an organization for cooperation? 11 . technical and scientific cooperation. ASEAN’s founders wished to avoid the impression that the new association would serve as a defence pact or military alliance or that it would favour one side or the other in the Cold War. S. training. as Thailand’s foreign minister. cultural. Thanat Khoman. emphatically. They did not want ASEAN to be perceived as a threat to anyone or to continue being an arena — actual or potential — for the quarrels of the strong. Sandhu et al. was one of the signatories to the Declaration that established ASEAN. 1992). solely through the use of non-military means.Chapter 2 ASEAN and Regional Security Of the ASEAN Declaration’s seven “aims and purposes”.

The change of regime in Indonesia in the mid-1960s. Secondly. there would have been a power vacuum which could have attracted outsiders to step in for political gains. to erupt into violent conflict. Thirdly. would create the environment for the development of the nations in the area. with the withdrawal of the colonial powers. the idea of neighbors working together in a joint effort was thus to be encouraged. This was the truth that we sadly had to learn. the need to join forces became imperative for the Southeast Asian countries in order to be heard and to be effective. as some former colonial powers had tried to do in . ASEAN was conceived to ensure that the many disputes between Southeast Asian countries would be resolved by peaceful means.12 ASEAN The reasons were numerous. from Sukarno to Soeharto. In the first place. as many of us knew from experience. The most important of them was the fact that. This. co-operation among disparate members located in distant lands could be ineffective. in turn. The Southeast Asian countries would have such deep stakes in ASEAN that they would not allow their disputes. The motivation for our efforts to band together was thus to strengthen our position and protect ourselves against Big Power rivalry. like the Philippines’ claim to Sabah. We had therefore to strive to build co-operation among those who lived close to one another and shared common interests. had led to a sharp break with the policies of the past — to the end of economic neglect at home and the abandonment of “confrontation” abroad. especially with the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization or SEATO. As the colonial masters had discouraged any form of intraregional contact. ASEAN would lock in Indonesia’s new policies of accommodation and cooperation with Jakarta’s neighbours. They rejected outside attempts to interfere in their affairs.

Not least. THE ZONE OF PEACE. signifying their commitment to reconciliation and eventual solidarity among them all. At the same time. ASEAN members gave mutual reassurance that they would not interfere in one another’s internal affairs or threaten or use force against one another. it was made clear that the association and its members were open to constructive relations with the rest of the world. Nevertheless. free from any form or manner of interference by outside Powers”. indeed. However. the reference to “neutrality” in the ZOPFAN Declaration may seem outdated and irrelevant today. With the Cold War having ended. they made it clear that the association was open to membership of all countries in Southeast Asia. Indonesia’s long-time foreign minister. they would actively seek the engagement of countries important to them. a commitment that has since . Freedom and Neutrality. it continues to be valid if it is regarded as a commitment by ASEAN to seek friendship with all and to be hostile to none. their shared convictions on national priority objectives and on how best to serve these objectives in the evolving strategic environment in East Asia. which impelled them to form ASEAN. Addressing a seminar on ASEAN in Jakarta in August 1996.ASEAN and Regional Security 13 the early years of the Southeast Asian countries’ independence and as China was perceived as doing. Ali Alatas. They committed themselves to the peaceful management and settlement of disputes between them. declared: (I)t was undeniably the convergence in political outlook among the five original members. ASEAN had issued a declaration proclaiming Southeast Asia as “a Zone of Peace. FREEDOM AND NEUTRALITY In November 1971.

the regional states reassure one another that they will not “develop. an exception that was a concession to those with military or ship-servicing arrangements with nuclearweapon states. and Africa. possess or have control over nuclear weapons. even as it continues to reject “interference by outside Powers” in its affairs. It is one of several such nuclear weapons-free zones in the world. China has expressed its readiness to sign the protocol. station or transport nuclear weapons by any means. Russia. or test or use nuclear weapons” in the region. Signed by the leaders of Southeast Asia in 1995 and having entered into force in March 1997. In that treaty. They also undertake not to allow any other state to do any of those things except for the matter of transport. ASEAN is currently negotiating with four of the five recognized nuclear-weapon states — France. the Southeast Asian states seek to prevent the introduction of nuclear arms into the region. the South Pacific. Latin America and the Caribbean. the SEANWFZ treaty is ASEAN’s contribution to the global nuclear non-proliferation regime. . the others being in Antarctica.14 ASEAN characterized ASEAN’s stance towards the rest of the world. the United Kingdom and the United States — the terms of the protocol through which those states would respect the provisions of the SEANWFZ treaty. Through the treaty. manufacture or otherwise acquire. THE SOUTHEAST ASIA NUCLEAR WEAPONS-FREE ZONE An “essential component” of ZOPFAN has been the treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone (SEANWFZ). specifically the United States.

subversion or coercion. equality. ASEAN would also do well to look beyond nuclear weaponry to other weapons of mass destruction. territorial integrity and national identity of all nations. Thailand and Vietnam to harness nuclear energy for the generation of electricity. Malaysia.ASEAN and Regional Security 15 In the face of looming energy shortages and rising energy costs. ASEAN laid down its norms for inter-state relations: • • • • • • Respect for the independence. sovereignty. biological and chemical arms. Renunciation of the threat or use of force. Indications of this are media reports about plans by Indonesia. beyond abjuring nuclear weapons ASEAN must pay attention to the possible diversion of enriched uranium or plutonium to military purposes. heightened consideration is now being given to nuclear power as a source of electricity in the future. TREATY OF AMITY AND COOPERATION On 24 February 1976. The peaceful settlement of disputes. specifically. the Presidents or Prime Ministers of the then-five ASEAN countries signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. Non-interference in the internal affairs of one another. sovereignty. the safety of nuclear facilities. and the disposal of nuclear waste. Each party pledged to refrain from participating “in any activity which shall constitute a threat to the political and economic stability. In this light. . and Effective cooperation among themselves. In the treaty. Freedom from external interference. or territorial integrity” of another.

the treaty was amended to allow accession by non-regional states. underscore ASEAN’s commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes. as the ASEAN foreign ministers did not adopt its rules of procedure until July 2001. together with the network of personal relationships that ASEAN has fostered. Brunei Darussalam acceded to the treaty in June 1987. the High Council is not a dispute-settlement mechanism in the sense of having the authority to issue binding decisions. The treaty also provides for a ministerial-level High Council that would “take cognizance of the existence of disputes or situations likely to disturb regional peace and harmony” should the parties directly concerned be unable to resolve a dispute through negotiations. Indeed. the High Council would “recommend appropriate measures for the prevention of a deterioration of the dispute or the situation”. In December of that year. Thus. If necessary. has helped to stabilize the relations among them and reduce the possibility of violent conflict between any two of them. . contrary to the belief of many. with ASEAN countries preferring to submit their legal disputes to the International Court of Justice in The Hague or to the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea in Hamburg. Even this limited role of the High Council has not been activated. the very existence and availability of the High Council. A non-regional party to the treaty can participate in the High Council only if it is “directly involved in the dispute to be settled through the regional processes”. ASEAN apparently did not expect the High Council to be used soon after its establishment. However. as well as ASEAN countries’ willingness to submit their legal disputes to international adjudication.16 ASEAN The ASEAN countries’ adherence to these norms.

ASEAN and Regional Security


Subsequently, Southeast Asian countries seeking admission into ASEAN first acceded to the treaty, just as they had to sign on to other, mostly economic, ASEAN agreements. Papua New Guinea, an observer in ASEAN, signed the treaty in 1989 as a non-regional state. More recently, after ASEAN adopted the High Council’s rules of procedure in 2001, other non-regional states acceded to it: China and India in October 2003, Japan and Pakistan in July 2004, the Republic of Korea and Russia in November 2004, Mongolia and New Zealand in July 2005, Australia in December 2005, and Timor-Leste in January 2007. With President Jacques Chirac having personally signed the instrument, France completed the formalities of her accession in the January 2007 ceremony at which the Timor-Leste foreign minister signed his country’s instrument of accession. Accession was particularly critical for Australia, which had been reluctant to join the treaty. However, Canberra had to sign on after ASEAN made accession to the treaty one of three requirements for participation in the East Asia Summit, convened for the first time in December 2005. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh acceded to the treaty in August 2007. Thus, an ever-widening circle of countries has been adopting ASEAN’s norms for inter-state relations both as an expression of policy and as a way of linking themselves more closely to ASEAN. The European Union has apparently decided to seek accession to the treaty as a group. The United Kingdom has indicated its intention to accede to the treaty. Despite some misgivings, the United States is reported to be considering doing so. The norms for inter-state relations codified in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation have served as ASEAN’s guiding principles in the political and security sphere. Not only have ASEAN countries refrained from the use or threat of force



against one another, they have also stood together in upholding those norms with respect to the actions of others within the region.

ASEAN gained international prominence when it led the diplomatic resistance to Vietnam’s incursion into Cambodia in the late 1970s and its subsequent occupation of that country for almost all of the 1980s. Although the Vietnamese action overthrew the murderous Khmer Rouge and sent them fleeing out of Phnom Penh and other heavily populated areas of the country, ASEAN, flexing the diplomatic muscle of its political solidarity, opposed it on the ground that changing another country’s regime by force was unacceptable. The strategic consideration underpinning the application of this ASEAN principle was the notion that Vietnam’s westward military move threatened Thailand and the region’s power balance. There was also the perception that Vietnam’s advance would enlarge the influence of the Soviet Union, Vietnam’s principal backer at the time, and thus upset the regional balance. In this, ASEAN had the support of China, the United States, Japan, most of Western Europe, and the majority at the United Nations General Assembly, where ASEAN led the campaign to keep Cambodia’s UN seat for the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea, the resistance coalition against the Vietnamese-installed regime in Phnom Penh. At the same time, ASEAN led the search for a political settlement of the Cambodian problem, which involved the participation of all the contending factions in Cambodia and eventually of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. A settlement was finally arrived at in 1991 through a series of conferences

ASEAN and Regional Security


in Paris following ASEAN-brokered and Indonesia-led meetings among the Cambodian parties.

A problem arising from the turmoil in Indochina was that of the “asylum-seekers”, the hundreds of thousands of Vietamese who, by sea or on land, fled Vietnam after its reunification in 1975 or were forced out by the authorities there. A similar exodus took place of Cambodians escaping from the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge and, on a smaller scale, of tribal minorities who had fought on the American side in Laos. The massive numbers of refugees fleeing across land boundaries to the border areas of Thailand, as well as China, or landing in rickety vessels on the shores of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Singapore, as well as Hong Kong, were looked upon by those countries and by ASEAN as a security problem. The arrival of enormous numbers of refugees disrupted the lives of communities in which they landed, even as international aid often raised the living standards of the asylumseekers above those of the indigenous population, thus creating social tensions. The need to support the arrivals placed a heavy strain on the resources of the reluctant ASEAN hosts. In some cases, the influx of refugees — many of those from Vietnam were ethnic Chinese — threatened the delicate racial balance of the affected communities. It also raised the possibility of government agents being infiltrated among the arrivals. At the same time, there was the concern over possible actions taken by the arrivals against the governments of the countries that they had fled. The whole issue further strained relations between Vietnam and ASEAN countries.

THE SOUTH CHINA SEA ASEAN also brought regional solidarity to bear in dealing with China on the complex situation in the South China Sea. ASEAN was to call for the expansion and acceleration of the Orderly Departure Programme. to enable Vietnamese who wanted to do so to emigrate in orderly fashion.20 ASEAN Acting in solidarity. above all. One was that the developed countries should take in qualified refugees for permanent settlement. preferring to hold discussions with individual Southeast Asian claimants. the Philippines and Thailand. ASEAN took a common position on the refugee problem. what resolved the refugee problem were the stabilization of the domestic situations in Vietnam and Laos and the settlement of the Cambodian issue. without having to undergo the hardships and dangers of escape. the international community — that is. issued . the resettlement countries and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees had agreed. While the countries of first asylum tolerated the temporary stay of the refugees. ASEAN. they insisted on two things. In 1992. while the Vietnamese refer to it as the Eastern Sea.) For years. the developed countries and the UN — should shoulder the bulk of the burden of supporting the refugees in the firstasylum camps. in which Vietnam. in 1979. Malaysia. Meanwhile. Eventually. China. but the South Sea. (The Chinese do not call the area the South China Sea. China had refused to talk about the South China Sea with ASEAN as a group or in any other multilateral forum. In the end. as well as. voluntarily agreed to accept varying numbers of asylum-seekers for permanent settlement. under the Philippines’ chairmanship. The other was that the countries of origin should agree to take back the rest.

together and individually. the exercise of selfrestraint in the area. to freedom of navigation and overflight there.ASEAN and Regional Security 21 the Manila Declaration on the South China Sea calling for the peaceful resolution of jurisdictional issues. in February 1995. ASEAN solidarity on the issue had been given expression and impetus when the other ASEAN governments provided strong backing for the Philippines after the latter discovered. a submerged feature just a little over one hundred kilometers from the Philippine archipelago. The Chinese declined ASEAN’s invitation to sign the declaration. acting in solidarity. scientific research. and to building mutual confidence through certain specific measures. The ASEAN countries. and the fight against transnational crime in the South China Sea. Signed by the ASEAN and Chinese foreign ministers on the day of the ASEAN-China summit meeting in Phnom Penh in December 2002. the declaration committed the parties to the peaceful settlement of disputes in the area. the multilateral process that subsequently developed brought forth the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. The . The stealthy Chinese move was regarded as threatening to regional stability as well as to Philippine security. The parties also pledged to cooperate in environmental protection. those claims were in conflict among themselves — ASEAN. to “self-restraint” and refraining from “inhabiting” unoccupied land features. have been working with China on implementing the declaration. safety of navigation and communication. Chinese installations on Mischief Reef. However. search and rescue. and cooperation on a range of common maritime problems. although only four ASEAN countries had jurisdictional claims to parts of the South China Sea — indeed. Ultimately. eventually got China to deal with the problem in an ASEAN-China context.

Catastrophic wars have resulted from attempts by states to interfere in the affairs of others. In the case of Southeast Asia. They saw the Chinese hand . with Chinainspired riots and strident rhetoric. Nevertheless. THE QUESTION OF NON-INTERFERENCE A measure of regional stability is fostered by the ASEAN countries’ adherence to the universal principle of mutual non-interference in the domestic affairs of nations. it dates back at least to the emergence of the concept of the sovereignty of nations. Contrary to the impression given by much media commentary.22 ASEAN conclusion of the declaration. the particularly tenacious emphasis on state sovereignty arises from the regional states’ recent experience with colonialism and with attempts by the former colonial powers to hold sway over them even after their independence. the maritime area semi-enclosed by Chinese and Southeast Asian territory continues to be a potential source of contention. rather. albeit less so than in the recent past. made possible both by ASEAN’s collective persistence and China’s eventual flexibility. commonly attributed to the Peace of Westphalia of 1648. Without the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of nations. has calmed the situation in the South China Sea. the entire inter-state system would collapse. a major step in preserving the peace and stability of the region. the principle is neither the invention nor the monopoly of ASEAN. because the jurisdictional issues remain unresolved. which put an end to both the Thirty Years’ War and the Eighty Years’ War and upheld the European nations’ sovereignty and freedom from the Holy Roman Empire. Most felt threatened by the spasms of China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution.

ASEAN and Regional Security 23 in the communist insurgencies and subversion that they had to struggle against. the experience of the 1997–98 financial crisis hammered home the recognition of how interlinked the national economies had become. no longer limited by geography. the definition of interference and the application of the principle have to adjust to changing times. if not threaten the security of the nations in it. These entail a certain measure . Southeast Asia’s attachment to the principle of non-interference also stems fundamentally from the great diversity among and within the nations of Southeast Asia. leading to the convergence — or the collision — of cultures and values. as well as the regional economy. The global economy has become much more integrated than it has ever been since before the outbreak of World War I and has involved a much larger expanse of the world. have expanded and intensified as a result of revolutionary advances in transportation and information and communications technology. Nevertheless. with their implications for national monetary policy. The spread of information in all fields of human endeavour has accelerated to the degree of being largely instantaneous. Human contacts. subsequently joined by China. ASEAN. enabling people in one spot on earth to know immediately the details of what happens elsewhere. The absence of such mutual reassurance would tend to destabilize the region. In East Asia. and began to explore mechanisms for the coordination of exchange rates. Japan and Korea. from which arises the need for them to reassure one another that none would exploit that diversity for national purposes. if not the global economy as a whole. What happens in one economy often affects others. launched a process for the review and surveillance of national economies.

ASEAN has expressed its opposition to political and economic sanctions on Myanmar. ASEAN used unusually strong language in declaring itself “appalled” by reports of Myanmar security forces employing automatic firearms against demonstrators and in conveying their “revulsion” to Myanmar officials. The disastrous effects of the burning of forests and peat land in Indonesia on neighbouring countries opened the subject of Indonesia’s environmental and development policies to regional discussion — with Jakarta’s participation. ASEAN has been raising the domestic situation in Myanmar with the Myanmar authorities. to stem the spread of the disease. which Indonesia signed but. For several years now. ASEAN’s ultimately successful cooperative response to the 2003 SARS crisis entailed actions at the national level. has not yet ratified. ASEAN’s Regional Haze Action Plan and the 2002 ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. the ASEAN foreign ministers issued a statement expressing ASEAN’s concern about the political turmoil in the Philippines and calling for its peaceful resolution. not because of its adherence to some “doctrine” but because of geo-strategic considerations and the counterproductive nature of such sanctions. but they could not be construed as interference. In September 2007. among other things. for the release of leaders of the National League for Democracy from detention and a faster “transition to democracy”. regionally agreed upon. calling. . They “demanded that the Myanmar government immediately desist from the use of violence against demonstrators”. commit Jakarta to avoid acts in its territory that would cause harm beyond its national jurisdiction. as of 2007. In February 1986. At the same time.24 ASEAN of intrusion in the domestic economies of nations.

as well as for economic reasons. Vietnam had been stabilized. Australia in 1974. that a growing number of countries have sought Dialogue Partnerships with ASEAN. China. and Canada and the United States in 1977. ASEAN leaders have cited the Dialogue system as a manifestation of the international community’s regard for ASEAN’s political and strategic importance and its viability as a regional institution. ASEAN built the Dialogue system. With a new configuration of power emerging in East Asia and in the world at large. on the contrary. It is because of this. and the Cold War had ended. engaging Japan in 1973. especially after Vietnam’s incursion into Cambodia and with the growing problem of the asylum-seekers arising out of Vietnam’s reunification. The ASEAN foreign ministers’ annual “post-ministerial conferences” with their Dialogue Partners had turned from a preoccupation with economic concerns to political issues. the Cambodian problem had been settled. the January 1992 ASEAN . India and Russia became Dialogue Partners in 1996. China’s political and economic reforms were taking hold. Starting cautiously with what was then called the European Economic Community in 1972 (a partnership formalized in 1977).ASEAN and Regional Security 25 ENGAGING THE POWERS ASEAN has sought to foster regional security and stability not by closing itself off to the world in a Fortress ASEAN but. the Khmer Rouge’s reign of terror. by seeking the engagement of the major powers with Southeast Asia. the Dialogue Partnerships have had a significant political and security dimension. Although they were initially driven by economic motives. By 1992. New Zealand in 1975. and the Cambodian conflict. ASEAN’s first initiative in this regard was the establishment of the system of Dialogue Partnerships.

and Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in 2007. The ARF senior officials meet earlier in the year to prepare for the ministerial meeting and discuss substantive issues on their own. when it was admitted as an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 1996. promote the capacity to cooperate on common problems. expanded forum should be set up. Timor-Leste in 2005. develop useful networks. Russia and Vietnam. However. Unfortunately. because of the presence on those occasions of personalities who are attractive to the media. but also the ASEAN observers at the time — Papua New Guinea. defence. respectively. to be named the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and to include not only China and Russia. Mongolia in 1999. which is held on the occasion of the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meeting and deals with outstanding regional security issues and with the nature and processes of the forum. It was subsequently agreed that a new. Vietnam and Laos. and foster mutual . the ARF has expanded to include Cambodia and Myanmar when they became ASEAN observers in 1995 and 1996. India. The centrepiece of the ARF is the meeting of foreign ministers. When the officials of those countries met the next year in Singapore to consider this mandate. many activities take place throughout the year under ARF auspices that serve to build mutual confidence. public attention is drawn to the ARF only on the occasion of the annual ministerial meetings. National security. military and intelligence officials also attend it. Since its initial ministerial meeting in Bangkok in 1994. Pakistan in 2004.26 ASEAN Summit directed that the Post-Ministerial Conferences be used for the intensification of political and security dialogues among ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners. it became immediately clear that regional peace and security could not be usefully discussed without the participation of China. North Korea in 2000.

The areas in which such activities are conducted have included search and rescue. Through such discussions and cooperative activities. media commentators often deride the ARF as an ineffectual “talk shop” that has little impact on important security issues. Since 1994. Iraq and Afghanistan. The ARF process — the ministerial and senior-official security discussions and the security-related cooperative activities — provides a valuable venue for protagonists in contentious issues to meet informally in those many instances in which quiet diplomacy. Yet. the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. disaster relief. and defence colleges have formed their own network. . Senior defence officials have met with increasing frequency. discussions took place on the nuclear situation on the Korean peninsula. if its Chairman’s Statement is to be an indication. public gatherings. on certain issues. mutual confidence is built. terrorism. and maritime security. They encourage cooperation in a growing number of practical areas. Thailand. the detection and removal of landmines. terrorism. For example. Myanmar. is called for. the prevention of the diversion of nuclear materials for weapons purposes. the Israel-Palestine conflict. maritime security. at the 2 August 2007 ARF ministerial meeting. Timor-Leste. they lead to regional consensus. This is largely because the forum has not been directly involved in dealing substantively with the prominent. The discussions clarify national positions. transnational crime. arms-trafficking. Iran’s nuclear activities. the ARF has served as the only Asia-Pacificwide forum in which powers great and small discuss regional security issues in a comprehensive manner — a fact of no small importance. the South China Sea. and small arms and light weapons.ASEAN and Regional Security 27 learning. rather than formal.

28 ASEAN media-attractive security “flashpoints” in East Asia — North Korea. Taiwan and the South China Sea — although it must be said that the ARF does provide a platform for clarifying national positions on these issues. that is. in 2006 and 2007. preventing conflict through diplomatic means. The year after its inaugural ministerial meeting. China considers Taiwan to be its internal affair and refuses to discuss it in a multilateral setting. The ARF has of late been struggling to find ways of moving the forum from confidence building alone to preventive diplomacy. the ARF adopted a “concept paper” that laid down three stages for the forum’s development. has been expanded and renamed the ISG on Confidence Building Measures and Preventive . The Inter-sessional Support Group (ISG) on Confidence Building Measures. A small ARF Unit has been set up in the ASEAN Secretariat. ASEAN and China are working out the issues related to the South China Sea by themselves. The second would be “preventive diplomacy”. A register of “experts and eminent persons” has been put together. The third would have been “Development of Conflict-Resolution Mechanisms” but was watered down to “elaboration of approaches to conflicts”. the ARF might usefully continue to discuss them. which seem to be making progress. While a larger forum like the ARF would be too broad to be able to sort out these complex problems in practical ways. The terms of reference for the “Friends of the Chair” have been approved. The steps agreed upon so far have been limited to devising institutional mechanisms. pursuant to a decision by the ministers in July 2005. with the experts and eminent persons having met twice. The first would be the building of mutual confidence. The nuclear problem in North Korea is being dealt with in the Six-Party Talks.

One problem is that some ARF participants are wary of preventive diplomacy being used by other ARF participants as a pretext for interfering in their internal affairs. rejects any possibility that. by himself or with the help of the Friends of the Chair.ASEAN and Regional Security 29 Diplomacy. for one. These issues would be susceptible to treatment and cooperation in a broad multilateral setting. issues arising from the civilian use of nuclear power. In any case. the ARF has been unable to develop effective mechanisms or adopt a mandate for itself or for the chair. to what many refer to as “non-traditional” security issues. non-military. However. is what potential conflict the ARF would seek to prevent from happening as it moves into the preventive-diplomacy phase. Seminars have been held and studies produced on the subject. that is. The question. The answer that more and more ARF participants are embracing is that preventive diplomacy by the ARF would be most effective and useful if applied to non-military threats. China. to seek by diplomatic means to prevent specific disputes from turning into violent conflict. and communicable diseases. threats would divert the ARF from its original purpose. international terrorism. to undertake actual preventive diplomacy. some observers point out that applying preventive diplomacy mainly to “non-traditional”. energy security. is itself . These might include natural or man-made disasters. the ARF would intervene in the Taiwan situation or that ARF participants outside of ASEAN and China would get involved in the South China Sea disputes. that is. drug-trafficking and other transnational crime. transboundary environmental pollution. which is the ARF’s main function at this time. in the face of these positions. which all ARF participants can regard as common threats. it must be borne in mind that confidence building. in the name of preventive diplomacy. However. then.

However. Accordingly. The other participants have accepted this arrangement as the most practical alternative. as well as of the PMC. This is why it is generally agreed that the confidence-building and preventive-diplomacy phases have to proceed simultaneously and in tandem. Russia and four Central Asian republics. process. under present circumstances and for the foreseeable future. a largely public forum of Asia-Pacific defence ministers and others involved in security policy making. there is talk of converting the Six-Party Talks on the nuclear problem on the Korean Peninsula into a permanent security forum for Northeast Asia. It convenes annually in the Shangri-la Hotel in Singapore under the sponsorship of the United Kingdom’s International Institute for Strategic Studies and Singapore’s Rajaratnam School of International Studies. Indeed. there is no alternative to the ARF. they are also presided over by the ASEAN chair. As such. the only Asia-Pacific-wide forum dealing with regional security at a high political level. . Among these are the Shanghai Cooperation Organization of China. ASEAN has always insisted on being in the “driver’s seat” of the ARF. The SCO has been undertaking joint military exercises. In addition. Nor is there any alternative to ASEAN leadership of the ARF forum and process. Another is the Shangri-la Dialogue. ARF participants are increasingly frustrated by the ARF’s lack of direction even as a discussion forum. it is entirely unprecedented. It is commonly acknowledged that. Not only do the ARF ministerial meetings take place on the occasion of the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meeting.30 ASEAN a means of conflict prevention. Leadership by any of the non-ASEAN ARF participants would be unacceptable to others. some fear that the ARF is being marginalized or at least publicly overshadowed by other security forums that have emerged in the region.

ARF discussions have been conducted behind closed doors. has to do a better job of agenda setting and. Here. Hitherto. however. in general. with clarity and depth. if possible. the agenda for each ministerial meeting. of intellectual leadership of the forum. As noted above.ASEAN and Regional Security 31 something. It would improve public understanding of the security issues of the day and raise public awareness of the ARF itself if some of those discussions were brought out into the open. The ministerial meetings should focus on only one or two subjects with a view to deeper and more thorough discussions and. the ASEAN Secretariat. on which no firm consensus has been arrived at among the six parties. The chair should then seek to keep the discussions within the bounds of the agenda instead of allowing it to sprawl in all directions. Japan and South Korea — through the ASEAN Plus Three . with a strengthened ARF Unit. ASEAN has given special importance and focus to its engagement with its neighbours in Northeast Asia — China. There have also been suggestions for the periodic holding of ARF summit meetings. could help the ARF chair and its “friends” develop. It would also help if the occasion of the annual ARF ministerial meeting could provide a public platform for the foreign ministers most substantially concerned with the subject or subjects of the year to discuss his or her country’s views and positions for the benefit of the media and the public. as chair and “driver” of the ARF process. Several things could be done to invigorate the ARF and make it more effective. specific outcomes and collective decisions. one way is favoured by a number of ARF participants. and that is for the ARF to go into the preventive-diplomacy phase but apply it to the so-called “non-traditional” security threats. This would mean that ASEAN.

32 ASEAN process. and New Zealand. the stand-alone ASEAN-India Summit. has sought not only with ASEAN but also with East Asia as a whole. and financial arrangements. links Northeast Asia to Southeast Asia ever more closely. for strategic as well as economic reasons. Japan. Cebu. The first meeting was concerned with a possible avian influenza pandemic. its significance arises no less from its political and strategic value. an engagement that India itself. and now the East Asia Summit (EAS). ASEAN Plus Three derives its value most prominently from the economic and financial cooperation that animates it — the concrete projects and the high-profile initiatives like free trade areas. to discuss and sort out their often-troubled relations among themselves. and the second was on energy security. However. and Singapore in November 2007. As India has risen in strategic as well as economic importance. Not least. Korea. The ASEAN Plus Three process. the ARF. economic partnership agreements. Japan and Korea. the ASEAN Plus Three forum has provided an additional venue for China. The most recent of the regional forums. in January 2007. at several levels. ASEAN has drawn New Delhi’s political engagement. To be sure. the EAS has been convened three times — on the occasions of the ASEAN Summits in Kuala Lumpur in December 2005. ASEAN’s norms of non-resort to force and non-interference in internal affairs have gained at least formal adherence throughout East Asia. China. but both India and ASEAN also have a deep interest in India’s participation in the regional arrangements of which ASEAN is the hub — the Dialogues. India. which gathers the ASEAN leaders together with those of Australia. The Singapore . India has been building direct political and economic bridges to China and Japan. launched with its first summit meeting in 1997. the Philippines.

Climate Change and Sustainable Development”. but by way of broadening the regional consensus.ASEAN and Regional Security 33 EAS emphasized “Energy. the EAS served as a venue for top-level discussions on broad strategic political and economic issues. Thus. environmental degradation. including the transformation of the region’s strategic configuration after the settlement of the Indochina conflicts. Current security threats come in the shape of transnational problems that endanger the people of two or more countries or the region as a whole. Environment. This can be attributed to a number of factors. international terrorism. However. Thus. but in other forms. The ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Transnational Crime and its senior-officials counterpart have since then become regular ASEAN forums encompassing such bodies as the ASEAN Senior Officials on Drugs and officials . the EAS involves important actors in an ASEAN-centred circle that is larger than ASEAN Plus Three but smaller than the ARF or APEC. threats to their security and stability remain. as some regard it in oversimplified fashion. The ASEAN ministers dealing with transnational crime first met in December 1997. THE CHANGING FACE OF SECURITY A regime of inter-state peace and relative stability has settled on Southeast Asia. These are mainly transnational crime. It gives the regional process a certain balance — not in the sense of containing or offsetting China. require — regional cooperation. In all cases. All these are susceptible to — indeed. and communicable diseases. Not least is the existence of ASEAN itself. security threats to Southeast Asian nations from the policies and actions of states have greatly diminished. the end of the Cold War and the growing economic integration of East Asia.

The ASEAN . As early as 1997. Operational collaboration among law-enforcement agencies in the ASEAN countries involved has resulted in numerous arrests of actual or would-be terrorists and the foiling of terrorist plots. ASEAN countries have cooperated in combating international terrorism. the international kind of terrorism.34 ASEAN dealing with immigration. can be dealt with only through international cooperation. Some acts of terrorism in Southeast Asia have been motivated by domestic political or social grievances and aspirations. After the 11 September 2001 attacks on the United States and the subsequent terrorist acts or threats in some other places. however. intelligence and databases and otherwise cooperate at the operational level. There is also an association of ASEAN police forces called ASEANAPOL. by themselves or with others. the ASEAN ministers dealing with transnational crime designated terrorism as one of the crimes on which they would cooperate. certain aspects of customs. notably Australia and the United States. and domestic security. consular matters. is outside the formal ASEAN framework. Some of these efforts have received the support of other countries. The latter kind. Others are inspired and driven by causes that transcend national boundaries or ethnic divisions and receive support from like-minded cohorts from outside the country. including a number of ASEAN countries. education and public awareness. These bodies share information. ASEAN stepped up its anti-terrorist cooperation. In November 2004. It focuses on prevention and rehabilitation. the ASEAN Ministers of Justice or Law or Attorneys General signed a Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. At the regional level. and law enforcement. which. The ASEAN Senior Officials on Drugs is one of the oldest ASEAN platforms for regional cooperation in dealing with regional problems.

dealing not only with piracy but also with potential maritime terrorism. Pakistan. Japan. The worsening degradation of the environment in Southeast Asia constitutes a growing threat to human security.ASEAN and Regional Security 35 Regional Forum has organized workshops to improve AsiaPacific cooperation in specific components of counter-terrorism — terrorist financing. even as they urge that terrorism not be identified with any religion. culture or nationality. Not least. It adopts the definition of terrorism in any of the 13 listed anti-terrorism conventions and treaties of the United Nations. it mandates measures to ensure the fair treatment of persons detained on grounds of terrorism. It clarifies the national jurisdiction over terrorist crimes. Counter-terrorism cooperation on the ground receives ASEAN-wide political backing in the form of declarations and statements from leaders and ministers repeatedly condemning terrorism and calling for closer collaboration to counter it. India. the movement of goods and people. New Zealand. So do dangers arising from communicable diseases. and the management of the consequences of terrorist attacks. statements that express in no uncertain terms the revulsion of ASEAN and its partners towards terrorism and provide a political mandate for close cooperation between them in combating it. transport security. sect. It specifies the areas in which ASEAN is to cooperate in combating terrorism. This convention does a number of things. the ASEAN leaders signed the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism. and the United States. At their summit in January 2007. Catastrophes . China. Malaysia and Singapore cooperate on maritime security in the Straits of Malacca. ASEAN has issued joint statements with Australia. Indonesia. border security. the European Union. document security and identity fraud.

the asylum-seekers. the prevention of disasters where possible. which have made recourse to inter-state violence all but unthinkable. These will be dealt with in Chapter 4. the other two being the ASEAN Economic Community and the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community. international terrorism. THE ASEAN SECURITY COMMUNITY ASEAN has made explicit the coherence of its efforts in the pursuit of the association’s political and security purposes. the divisions of Southeast Asia have been healed much faster than they could otherwise have been.36 ASEAN commonly referred to as “natural disasters” arise from within individual countries and normally affect the people living in them. reconstruction and rehabilitation. It has developed networks for peaceful contact and habits of cooperation. It has provided a regional context within which peaceful negotiations on bilateral disputes are conducted. However. regional solidarity and good neighbourliness call for assistance from fellow-ASEAN members in relief. ASEAN members have moved in solidarity on such issues as the Cambodian problem. ASEAN has laid down norms for inter-state relations in the region. which constitutes one of the three components of the envisioned ASEAN Community. which constitute a mutual reassurance of peaceful intentions. It has done so through the concept of the ASEAN Security Community. ASEAN has gotten important nonregional states to accede to them. In a very real sense. Not only has its members adhered to these norms. It has evolved informal processes for regional problems to be worked out in non-violent ways. and the South China . ASEAN is already a security community. Because of ASEAN. and the mitigation of their impact.

After laying down the “goals and strategies” for pursuing the ASEAN Community. in fact. and the Republic of Korea and Russia in November 2004. some of the measures. the VAP listed the measures to be undertaken. The ASEAN countries reiterated their resolve to be free from “outside interference in their internal affairs”. Nevertheless. reaffirmed the ASEAN countries’ common interest in regional security and in the peaceful settlement of “intra-regional differences”. Consultations were being . ASEAN has found it necessary to define the nature of the ASEAN Security Community that it is seeking to build and strengthen. chart the course of security cooperation in Southeast Asia. Japan and Pakistan in July 2004. They have proclaimed the region as off limits to nuclear weapons. which the ASEAN leaders issued in Bali in October 2003. (a) military alliance or a joint foreign policy”. The Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) of November 2004 prescribed specific measures for carrying out the Declaration of ASEAN Concord II.ASEAN and Regional Security 37 Sea. More broadly. had already been or were being carried out when the VAP was signed. The Declaration of ASEAN Concord II. through a number of forums and processes. ASEAN has engaged the major outside powers with interests in Southeast Asian affairs and of strategic importance to the region. The declaration characterized the ASEAN Security Community as “open and outward looking” and the ASEAN Regional Forum as the “main forum for regional security dialogue”. even as it again made clear that ASEAN had no intention of setting up “a defence pact. and agree on specific measures to advance it further. Nonregional states had been acceding to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia — China and India in 2003. In the case of the ASEAN Security Community.

Existing human rights mechanisms in ASEAN had been in contact with one another.38 ASEAN undertaken on the protocol under which the nuclear-weapon states would respect the provisions of the treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. New Zealand. such as the promotion of education on and public awareness of human rights and the publication of an annual regional security outlook. The ASEAN Charter envisioned in the VAP was signed at the November 2007 Summit in Singapore. As the VAP called for. More countries have acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation — Mongolia. Exchanges between military officials had been going on. Since the VAP was issued. Australia. Needless to say. Other measures in the VAP have not been carried out. France. The ASEAN Defence Ministers convened their inaugural formal meeting in May 2006. some other measures prescribed in it have been carried out. The work programme on combating transnational crime has been revised. There are other measures that may have to be strengthened or added. Consultations and projects were being carried out to implement the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. ASEAN ministers and officials were in Kuala Lumpur concluding the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. On the very day when the VAP was signed in Vientiane. the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers and the ASEAN Convention on Counter Terrorism were signed at the ASEAN Summit in Cebu in January 2007. as the VAP also urged. these two commitments have to entail more than lip-service and be invested with seriousness and substance. Timor-Leste. One of them might be the declaration of Southeast Asia as a zone free from chemical and biological . albeit on an informal basis. subsequent to the suggestion in the VAP.

Another might be the exchange not only of more substantive strategic outlooks but also of energy policies and strategies. In any event.ASEAN and Regional Security 39 weapons in the same vein as the Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone. Norms for the domestic behaviour of states could be more trenchant and commitments to uphold them more firm. . as envisioned by its own leaders and as called for by the times. ASEAN can be said to be already a security community insofar as inter-state relations are concerned. It can now build on this and broaden it.

transportation and communications. cultural. The third was to persuade Southeast Asia’s people that the improvement of their lives was uppermost in their governments’ minds. technical. “Collaboration in agriculture and industry. Another was publicly to underscore the member-states’ strong commitment to economic development. social. trade. “Mutual assistance in training and research. 41 .” There were three reasons for this public emphasis on the economic dimension of the new association. which also included: • • • “Economic. and the improvement of living standards. scientific and administrative collaboration. the ASEAN Declaration of 8 August 1967 placed “Economic growth. as Beijing and Moscow would charge and as Hanoi suspected.Chapter 3 ASEAN and the Regional Economy Although ASEAN was founded primarily for political and security purposes. One was to dispel any notion that ASEAN would be some kind of defence arrangement. social progress and cultural development” at the top of the new association’s seven “aims and purposes”.

Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. 1969. finance and food. as well as mass media and cultural activities. a United Nations team had completed its study on ASEAN economic cooperation. By the fourth ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. The next year. the foreign ministers created more permanent committees. the foreign ministers were able to refer to the “good progress” made in “liberalizing trade in selected food products”. a term that ASEAN at the time was meticulously avoiding. commerce and industry. civil aviation. of which 48 were reported to have been implemented. the recommended projects had increased to 121. Significantly. partly foreshadowing the attempt 30 years later to integrate ASEAN economically by product groups. air traffic services and meteorology. The watchword then was economic cooperation rather than integration. air traffic services and meteorology. the ASEAN foreign ministers agreed to set up permanent committees on food. those on finance. the year after ASEAN’s founding. tourism. according to the joint communiqué of that meeting. communications. and transportation and communications. pointed out that “ASEAN did not for the present aim at integrating a regional economy”. shipping. Nevertheless. The primacy of political and security considerations in ASEAN’s early years was reflected in the fact that the ASEAN Economic Ministers forum was not formally established until . They also approved no less than 99 project recommendations pertaining to commerce and industry. The ministers signed a multilateral agreement on non-scheduled air services. as early as 1974.42 ASEAN True to their word. At this time. and shipping. civil aviation. tourism. in 1971. the number of projects had grown to 215. These were areas that clearly called for and required regional cooperation. in opening the 1972 ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. transportation and communications. The next year.

Preferential trading arrangements for basic commodities. including making decisions on economic matters as well as formally concluding economic agreements. the Philippines. in March. and the continuing vulnerability to food (meaning mainly rice) shortages of Indonesia and. sporadically.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 43 the first ASEAN Summit in 1976. At that time. and the products of the ASEAN industrial projects. to consider measures to implement the top-level decisions on economic cooperation. especially food and energy. Cooperation in the production of basic commodities. Indonesia’s Minister for Economic. ASEAN attention to economic matters was gaining urgency in the light of the energy crisis of 1972–73. Until then. the economic ministers themselves had recommended these details. The establishment of “large-scale” industrial projects. Radius Prawiro had gone around ASEAN to solicit support for an ASEAN economic ministers’ forum. and Minister for Trade. In November 1975. Widjojo Nitisastro. Financial and Industrial Affairs. The year before. the Philippines and Thailand being large-scale importers of energy. the economic ministers met informally in Indonesia to iron out the economic contents of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord that was to be issued in Bali three months later. The leaders even prescribed the inaugural meeting’s agenda: • • • • Giving priority to ASEAN member-countries in the supply of food and energy products in “critical circumstances”. particularly of food and energy. Of course. . in Bali in February 1976. the foreign ministers had been in almost complete control of the ASEAN process. the ASEAN leaders were quite specific in their mandate for the economic ministers: they were to meet in Kuala Lumpur the next month. At their first summit.

the ASEAN states sought to allocate large-scale industrial projects among themselves. the system collapsed as it collided with the region’s shift from import-substitution.44 ASEAN THE EARLY STAGE OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION In 1975. More fundamentally. The projects’ products were to be protected from competition and guaranteed a monopoly of the regional market. superphosphates to the Philippines. respectively. only the urea plants in Aceh. This meant that. Initially. ASEAN sought to liberalize intra-ASEAN trade through the Preferential Trading Arrangements (PTA). clashes of national interests. The other proposals were plagued by several changes in projects. and Singapore’s antagonism to state-directed industrial policies and to uncompetitive economic practices. Ultimately. Indonesia. of the Preferential Trading Arrangements and the ASEAN Industrial Projects (AIP). urea fertilizer was allocated to Indonesia and Malaysia. Malaysia. and Bintulu. the ASEAN foreign ministers had called on the permanent committees to give priority to “selective trade liberalization and industrial complementation”. diesel engines to Singapore and soda ash to Thailand. the products of the ASEAN Industrial Projects. the PTA failed substantially to free up and increase intra-ASEAN trade. have survived. autarkic policies to export-oriented. the PTA envisioned granting “margins of preference” to intra-ASEAN trade in food and energy. Agreed upon in 1977. These largely took the form. Each of them was to contribute to the equity of each project. since tariffs were cut by a certain . Under the AIP scheme. and negotiated lists of other goods. marketopening economic strategies. Tariffs were not brought down to absolute levels but were merely accorded margins of preference. Although the lists progressively lengthened and the margin of preference became larger.

to bring about the ASEAN Free Trade Area (AFTA). In Southeast Asia. the realities of globalization and regionalization were making the notion of regional economic integration no longer taboo in ASEAN circles. This led to the spectacle of ASEAN states. in India were energising those economies. It also meant that the ASEAN countries had different tariff rates on trade among themselves. it was becoming clear that it not only had to engage in economic cooperation or go through the motions of trade liberalization. the preferences were applied to negotiated lists of products rather than across the board. formally in 1992. Moreover. The scheme would help tone up ASEAN industries for global competition. The World Trade Organization was emerging from the old General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade. attract investments into the region.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 45 percentage. Indeed. Regional economic integration would also require domestic reforms that would move the regional eco- . and in the southern cone of South America a common market was being established. Reforms in China and. The North Americans were concluding their free trade agreement. later. and enable ASEAN to remain a significant actor in the world economy. offering concessions on many products that they did not import. presenting ASEAN with formidable competition for markets and investments. The Europeans were creating the European Union as the next step in Europe’s integration. the decision was made. in the protectionist spirit of the times. those that had been high to begin with remained relatively high. it had to integrate the regional economy to a substantial extent if it was to remain competitive in the global marketplace. THE ROAD TO ECONOMIC INTEGRATION As ASEAN entered the decade of the 1990s.

the ASEAN Industrial Cooperation scheme (AICO) was set up. through the Common Effective Preferential Tariff scheme. ASEAN concluded an agreement that basically formalized the code of conduct that the regions’ customs authorities had agreed upon in 1983. To expedite customs processing. and tourism. companies with production in two or more ASEAN countries could trade their products at the AFTA tariff end-rate. The effectiveness of free trade areas like AFTA and of other preferential trading arrangements vitally depends on the ability — and willingness — of national customs authorities to administer them correctly and honestly. trade in services. product standards. committed ASEAN countries to bringing down tariffs on intra-ASEAN trade across the board to 0 to 5 per cent. In 1996. AFTA. and eventually aim for zero tariffs. Thus. transportation. AFTA also called for the elimination of quantitative restrictions and other non-tariff barriers to intra-ASEAN trade. ASEAN subsequently agreed on other measures to integrate the regional market. Recognizing that market integration required more than tariff cutting. It has adopted . In it. ASEAN has set up the Green Lane. partly in response to the financial crisis.46 ASEAN nomies faster on the road from protectionism to freer markets. measures pertaining to customs. which is intended to have import documents cleared at one station. in 1997. with limited exceptions. ASEAN has adopted the GATT Customs Valuation Agreement and the ASEAN Harmonized Tariff Nomenclatures in order to arrive at a certain level of consistency in the application of customs regulations. and the Single Window. currently at zero (with some exceptions). within 15 years. through which imports from ASEAN exclusively pass. ASEAN was to advance this deadline twice.

In December 1995. ASEAN has concluded five packages of commitments involving business services. In 1997. environmental services. The quality and effectiveness of certain services are often a factor in investment decisions. telecommunications and tourism.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 47 the post-clearance audit system. maritime transport. ASEAN designated 20 products for standardization. Two years later. With a progressively larger portion of the ASEAN economy being made up of services. Mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) have been adopted for engineering and nursing services. followed by MRAs for architecture and surveying services. it adopted common safety standards for such equipment. construction. health care. Many services sectors are also directly supportive of the production of and trade in goods. ASEAN concluded a framework agreement on mutual recognition arrangements under which products traded within ASEAN do not have to undergo tests or other conformity assessments in both the importing and the exporting countries. ASEAN concluded the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services. mostly electronic and electrical equipment. the smoother and . Since then. Goods cannot be marketed freely within a regional market unless they are subject to the same standards and specifications. the intra-regional liberalization of the market for services is vital for the integration of the regional economy as a whole. which was meant to remove most restrictions on intra-regional trade in services. two packages have been worked out for financial services and two for air transport. distribution. is essential to trade in goods and to most movement of people. Transport. liberalizing such trade beyond the commitments made under the global General Agreement on Trade in Services. education. In addition. almost by definition. under which shipments can be cleared immediately and inspected later.

although the AFTA agreement calls for their removal. has launched a programme to inter-connect and in various ways upgrade Southeast Asia’s highways. The Singapore-Kunming Rail Link (SKRL) is the flagship project of the ASEAN Mekong Basin Development Cooperation. One important problem is that ASEAN looks to governments to identify their own non-tariff barriers rather than listening to the traders. The ASEAN energy sector has laid plans for a gas pipeline network. an ASEAN-China programme. the ASEAN leaders signed a regional tourism agreement expressing the intention to facilitate travel within the region and the entry of international visitors into it. FALLING SHORT OF INTEGRATION In terms of tariff cutting. The SKRL project aims to rehabilitate or improve existing rail lines on mainland Southeast Asia and to construct the missing links. ASEAN agreed on the mutual recognition of commercial vehicle inspection certificates. It adopted agreements on air cargo in 2002 and on multimodal transport in 2005. many non-tariff barriers remain in place. In 2002. who actually deal with them. therefore. and spur lines into Laos and Myanmar. However. conserve the environment. This . That same year.48 ASEAN the less expensive the better. preserve the cultural and historical heritage. ASEAN concluded a framework agreement to allow goods being traded between two countries to pass in transit through a third without hindrance. ASEAN. largely in Cambodia. loosen airline restrictions and liberalize other tourism-related services. and protect women and children against tourismrelated exploitation. so that today almost all of intra-ASEAN trade is no longer subject to tariffs. In 1998. AFTA has been more or less on schedule.

Transport is vital for trade and travel. are the four newer and less economically ad- . 150 applications for AICO tariff treatment have been approved. AFTA tariff rates are invoked in only a very small percentage of intra-ASEAN trade. However. AICO involves only intra-company trade and cannot be considered as an indication of the success of AFTA as a whole. As noted above. and ASEAN has taken steps to address the other requirements of integration. consistency and efficiency in customs operations in the region. However. As of 10 April 2007. four of the five ASEAN countries on the Mekong Basin. It has agreed on some form of mutual recognition arrangements for two sectors — cosmetics and electrical and electronic equipment — and is working on a third — pharmaceuticals. progress has been extremely slow. which are duty-free. Nor has AFTA been much of a factor in deciding whether to invest in ASEAN or not. intra-ASEAN trade has remained stuck at the 25 per cent level or below in the past few years. for various reasons. Even that level of trade cannot be attributed to AFTA. One exception is AICO. since. where much of this attention is concentrated. However. most of them in the automotive sector. and ASEAN has rightly given much importance to it. market integration takes more than the removal of tariffs. Much of the trade in manufactured goods in the region consists of electronics products. It has adopted certain norms to achieve greater coordination. In any case. ASEAN has committed itself to product standardization and has adopted common standards for certain products.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 49 self-serving procedure almost ensures that any removal of nontariff barriers will happen not through region-wide arrangements but by unilateral reforms in national trade policies. but the progress of reform in the practices of national customs administrations is quite uneven.

the bridges. the ASEAN tourism agreement providing for further measures to encourage tourism in the region has been largely ignored. highly dependent on grants and loans from developed countries and financial institutions like the Asian Development Bank. therefore. The annual ASEAN Tourism Forum has been a roaring success since 1981. With respect to services in general. Several countries have excluded commercially important airports from the application of the 2002 air cargo agreement. Land transport through certain countries on the Southeast Asian mainland remains prohibitively expensive. although some progress has been achieved. the highway network. The goods-in-transit framework agreement has not been implemented because of continuing disputes between Malaysia and Singapore over transit routes. The liberalization of passenger air services still depends on unilateral policy decisions or bilateral agreements. with the advent of low-cost carriers. Most of the commitments are already in the books of the ASEAN states . although. bringing thousands of buyers and sellers of tourism services together as a collective ASEAN endeavour. The physical-infrastructure component of ASEAN transport schemes — the rail link. Three of them are in the United Nations’ category of least-developed countries. to the detriment of commerce and tourism.50 ASEAN vanced members of the association. In many cases. the five packages of commitments agreed upon thus far have not resulted in any meaningful liberalization of the services trade. and the gas pipelines — is. the situation has improved. The China-financed endeavours to dredge parts of the Mekong in order to expand its use for transport purposes may have negative effects on the ecology of the Mekong area. However. air services continue to be restrictive.

they set up a steadily expanding network of bilateral currency swap and repurchase agreements. FINANCE COOPERATION ASEAN has long recognized the importance of finance as a component of economic cooperation. However. many are in fact less than those made in the WTO. in an expanded form in terms both of participation and amounts involved.) They launched a process for the review and surveillance of the regional and national economies. Today. Although ASEAN had not anticipated the depth or timing of the crisis — practically nobody else did — the member-states. (The ASEAN finance ministers had their first formal meeting in March 1997. the forums of finance ministers and finance ministry and central bank officials are among the most active of the . Nevertheless. a process that soon encompassed China. four months before the start of the crisis. to discourage currency speculation and enable the participants to help one another in case of liquidity problems. this is probably why ASEAN has not achieved much progress in regional agreements to integrate the regional market for services. with the onset of the Asian financial crisis. took steps to prevent a recurrence of a crisis of that magnitude. Ironically.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 51 concerned. A special committee of ASEAN central banks (Monetary Authority in the case of Singapore) was organized as early as 1973. ASEAN financial cooperation gained momentum only in 1997. Japan and Korea. in response. The ASEAN swap arrangement was set up in 1977. committing them in a regional context locks in the commitments. an instrument that to this day remains in effect. making them more difficult to repeal. anchored by Japan. With those three Northeast Asian countries.

. which is meant to channel East Asia’s enormous savings and financial reserves into investments in the region. The question is being raised as to whether it is now time to create permanent and dedicated institutions to drive and support financial cooperation on an ASEAN Plus Three basis. all of which have the technical support of the Asian Development Bank.52 ASEAN ASEAN economic mechanisms. Several Asian-currency bond issues have been carried out. the credit guarantee facility for the Asian Bond Market. They keep the regional economy and the national economies under scrutiny in frequent review and surveillance sessions The ASEAN swap arrangement has been enlarged to US$2 billion. Such institutions would provide staff support for the review and surveillance process. a swap is to be activated through collective decision. How best to coordinate exchange rates is being explored. meeting three or four times a year. the multilateralized swap and repurchase arrangements. Japan and Korea. The portion of the swap outside of International Monetary Fund conditionalities has been raised from 10 to 20 per cent. and the earmarked currencies are to be pooled. both among ASEAN member-countries and in the ASEAN Plus Three process with China. and the training programmes. The network of bilateral currency swap and repurchase arrangements among the ASEAN Plus Three countries has expanded to 16 arrangements and a total value of about US$80 billion. The network is being multilateralized. Research projects and training programmes underpin these endeavours. among other functions. the proposed exchange rate mechanism. a goal that would bring about greater financial stability and make trade easier in the region. the research. that is. with all ten ASEAN member-countries participating in it. ASEAN Plus Three has also launched the Asian Bond Market Initiative.

primarily commodities — to the European market. Meanwhile.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 53 ECONOMIC LINKS TO THE WORLD ASEAN’s links with the outside world were initially economic. the riots that greeted Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka’s visit to Bangkok and Jakarta in January 1974 — soon . which has come consistently to account for 30 per cent of Japan’s global ODA. too. Sumitro Djojohadikusumo. train its people. Europe. Moreover. it saw Southeast Asia as an important source of raw materials. natural rubber. On Japan’s part. For this. including fossil fuels. These considerations drove Japan’s official development assistance programme in Southeast Asia. In the case of Japan. mainly Malaysian. (SCCAN) made up of economics officials and headed by Indonesia’s Minister of Trade. ASEAN appreciated its recognition as a regional entity by the European Economic Community. Its first move in this direction was the establishment in 1972 of the Special Coordinating Committee of ASEAN Nations. and an export market. the appreciation of the yen in 1985 led Tokyo to encourage Japanese firms to relocate operations to Southeast Asia. the initial ASEAN concern was over the “indiscriminate expansion” and “accelerated export” of Japan’s synthetic rubber industry in direct competition with Southeast Asian. ASEAN sought to gain greater access for its exports — at that time. At the same time. Later. and build its infrastructure. ASEAN had deemed it appropriate to establish a relationship with the world’s most advanced regional association. to start a dialogue with the European Economic Community. Japan had to help raise Southeast Asia’s purchasing power. was looked upon as a source of development assistance. A Joint Study Group was organized to make recommendations on ASEAN-EEC economic cooperation.

ASEAN’s initial interest in these relationships was centred on market access. however. The United States and Canada followed in 1977. They meet in varying degrees of . the projects to be undertaken with the Dialogue Partners. and technical and development assistance. Australia entered the ASEAN Dialogue system in 1974 and New Zealand in 1975. Japan and Korea. This strategy was spelled out in the 1977 Fukuda Doctrine — named for Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda. the AEM had much say on the Dialogues’ agendas. the ASEAN foreign ministries took sole control of the process. the ASEAN Economic Ministers (AEM) became heavily involved in the Dialogues in the light of their heavily economic content at the time. Thereupon. who enunciated it — a policy invoked thereafter by succeeding Japanese leaders. as well as economic and development. The economic ministers conduct such consultations regularly with China. As in the case of Japan. projects for ASEAN and its member-states. as the Dialogues gradually broadened to include political and security matters. investments. the assignment of Dialogue coordinator-countries. In the mid-1980s. the composition of the joint cooperation committees to manage the projects. It is in this context that Japan has underwritten many cultural and people-to-people. and with Australia and New Zealand together.54 ASEAN after a major global energy crisis — brought home to Japan the need to develop ASEAN-Japan relations beyond the purely economic to a comprehensive strategy that would include firmer political ties and cultural and people-to-people relations. together and separately. the AEM initiated consultations with their counterparts from ASEAN’s leading economic partners. Thus. After the ASEAN leaders issued their mandate to them as the association’s central economic forum. and so on. who generally made it a point to visit ASEAN countries shortly after taking office.

India has entered into a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with ASEAN. It is among ASEAN’s principal sources of investments. ASEAN and the European Union have started negotiations on a free trade area between them. ASEAN and Australia and New Zealand concluded a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement in 2000 providing for the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investments and are negotiating a free trade agreement. they set up a dispute-settlement mechanism for issues arising from the CEC agreement. with Thailand opting out. Japan. ASEAN and China have concluded an agreement on trade in goods in which they undertook progressively to reduce tariffs on trade between them. It is in these forums where trade and investment issues are worked out and the principles for free trade areas and economic partnerships are agreed upon. At the same time. They also agreed to remove non-tariff barriers to trade. ASEAN and South Korea have set up a dispute-settlement mechanism and. Similarly. the United States Trade Representative.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 55 frequency with the European Trade Commissioner. following the conclusion of a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. On the basis of their 2002 Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. later. The two sides are negotiating a free trade area agreement. is ASEAN’s leading trading partner. together with the United States. one on trade in services. technology and tourism. with the modalities and timeline to be decided later. It is the largest provider of official development assistance to ASEAN as a group and . and India’s Minister of Commerce. signed an agreement on trade in goods and. ASEAN and China have recently concluded a broad agreement on the liberalization of trade in services.

energy. The US-ASEAN Business Council. holds periodic consultations with the ASEAN economic. Apart from the highprofile political dimension. Malaysia. Indonesia. It articulates the interests and requirements of American business in ASEAN and makes recommendations for ASEAN policy and practice. Thailand and Brunei Darussalam and. ASEAN has given special importance to its relations with China. these processes are heavily economic in content. The United States has entered into a Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement (TIFA) with ASEAN as a group after concluding TIFAs with some individual ASEAN members. Japan has concluded “economic partnership” agreements with Singapore. finance. one with ASEAN as a group. ASEAN Plus Three finance cooperation is described above.S. It has a modest programme of trade-related technical assistance for ASEAN countries. the most prominent of the ASEAN Plus Three activities have been those of an economic nature — the measures to accelerate regional economic integration and cooperation in finance. at the ASEAN-Japan Summit in November 2007. An ASEAN Plus Three Joint Expert Group has completed a . It has entered into a free-trade agreement with Singapore and started negotiating one with Malaysia. Starting with the first summit meetings in 1997. a business association of more than a hundred major American corporations doing business in ASEAN. transport. Negotiations with Thailand have been suspended partly on account of the political turmoil in that country. telecommunications and other ministers. As recounted in the previous chapter. It is also the leading ASEAN advocate in the U. Japan and Korea through the ASEAN Plus Three and ASEAN Plus One processes. although they exert a strong political impact as well. the Philippines.56 ASEAN to its individual members.

An integrated ASEAN economy would be more attractive to investors than one that is fragmented into small national economic regimes. an economically integrated ASEAN would strengthen the association’s political cohesion by giving each member-country a bigger stake in the region’s progress and prosperity and enlarging their common interests. both as a “domestic” market and as a platform of production for export. Specific obligations to take action have . having largely removed tariffs on intraASEAN trade and entered into framework agreements to bring about effective integration. This should stimulate and attract investments and translate itself into jobs and lower prices. the East Asia Summit (EAS) in January 2007 agreed to launch a study on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia among EAS participants. As a salutary side-effect. influence and leverage in global economic affairs. IMPERATIVES OF ECONOMIC INTEGRATION From several standpoints. Beyond the economic considerations. However. ASEAN’s governments recognize these benefits of regional economic integration. upon Japan’s proposal. but currently simply by default. this would enhance ASEAN’s credentials and capacity to manage the regional processes in the larger area of the Asia-Pacific of which it serves as the hub. the case for ASEAN economic integration seems evident. The requirements of integration could be used as an argument in support of domestic reforms. these broad commitments are not self-executing. On the other hand.ASEAN and the Regional Economy 57 study recommending the conclusion of an East Asia Free Trade Area. An integrated market tends to lower production and transaction costs and enhance the efficiency of trade. An integrated ASEAN would magnify Southeast Asia’s voice.

will depend on whether they and their business communities see the regional good as identical to their own. The painstaking work of harmonizing product standards has to be stepped up. they do not look beyond their current markets to the promise of a regionally integrated economy that will benefit all. Transportation links have to be strengthened and transport costs reduced. However. some progress is being made. It remains to be seen. China. because not all ASEAN countries have reached the point at which they identify to a substantive extent their national and political interests with the welfare and progress of the region as a whole. whether the time lines prescribed in the blueprint will be complied with.58 ASEAN to be undertaken. India and others in the world are not standing still. Customs operations have to be reformed in order for trade preferences to work. Trade in services has to be liberalized with a view to integrating the regional economy. In some cases. with clear schedules. This is reflected in the fact that most ASEAN governments do not feel any pressure from their business sectors to accelerate the pace of regional economic integration. The November 2007 ASEAN Summit adopted a blueprint for achieving the ASEAN Economic Community. . albeit slowly. The new ASEAN Charter is supposed to strengthen ASEAN’s institutions and make its processes more effective and expeditious. Meanwhile. They are weak. One problem is that ASEAN institutions and processes are weak in terms of moving initiatives forward and ensuring compliance with commitments. This. of course. in turn. Despite all this. the Charter will be only as good and effective as the member-states make it in terms of actual implementation.

do benefit from regional security and would profit from the effective integration of the regional economy. to take the “people’s” concerns into account. legitimate governments are expected to reflect the 59 . If accompanied by national policies to distribute the benefits of growth equitably. that the domestic situation is also largely free of violence. An atmosphere of regional stability and security allows people to live their lives and pursue their livelihoods in peace — provided. and lower costs. corporations and captains of industry. The implication is that regional security is the domain of politicians. diplomats and generals and that regional economic integration is the concern only of governments. Moreover. Regional economic integration would. This is somewhat surprising. it would benefit the people at large. in very real ways. if done right. generate jobs. and to consult with the “people’s representatives” in what is often called “civil society”. attract investments.Chapter 4 Working Together for the Common Good There have been in recent years increasing calls upon ASEAN to be “people-centred” or “people-oriented”. spur economic growth. since people. of course. The problem is that this linkage between regional security and economic integration on the one hand and people’s personal welfare on the other is seldom made.

Those decisions included the establishment of a “hotline” network among designated contact points. China. ASEAN does take cooperative action on matters that more directly affect the quality of people’s lives and are publicly perceived to do so. together with transnational crime and international terrorism. The ASEAN position on human rights has been the subject of occasional public attention. ASEAN cooperation with respect to natural disasters has also gained prominence. particularly as a consequence of the 2004 tsunami and the other catastrophes that have visited the region in recent years. The most prominent of these have been communicable diseases and the environment. Japan and Korea. . the quick sharing of information. the management of suspected cases in flight. disinfection of aircraft. Because of such cooperation and the support of the WHO and countries like China and Japan. and other measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) for travel from and to countries affected by SARS. an emergency ASEAN summit meeting. Preceded by a meeting of the health ministers of ASEAN. Nevertheless. COMMUNICABLE DISEASES The ASEAN response to the 2003 SARS crisis has been hailed as an achievement in regional cooperation against a common threat. coordinated procedures at international departure and arrival points. pre-departure screening.60 ASEAN interests of their people and articulate and advance them in inter-governmental processes. joined later by China’s Premier and Hong Kong’s Chief Executive. the SARS epidemic was stopped in its tracks. issued the mandate for inter-agency cooperation — “with real power of enforcement” — in carrying out the health ministers’ decisions.

This possibility arises from the potential mutation of the avian influenza virus into a strain that can be transmitted between humans. information sharing. At the same time. ASEAN cooperation covers surveillance. Already. which are stockpiled in Singapore for ASEAN use in case of a pandemic outbreak. culling infected poultry inflicts enormous costs on the families affected or their governments or both. ASEAN bodies dealing with agriculture and health are working jointly at the ministerial. officials and technical levels to prevent. and public awareness.Working Together for the Common Good 61 The threat of an outbreak of avian influenza among humans is more diffuse. the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. test kits and protective equipment. Whether between fowls. emergency preparedness. They are working together with other countries. and international organizations. Thus. between fowls and humans or. avian influenza has risen to the top of ASEAN’s concerns. potentially. control and eradicate the disease. The expensive medicine needed to counter it has a short shelf life and has to be administered within 48 hours of the onset of the infection. ASEAN countries also participate in global efforts to prepare for and respond to the possible outbreak of a pandemic. notably the World Health Organization. diagnostic capability. Japan and Korea. Moreover. between humans. the World Organization for Animal Health and the Asian Development Bank. officially called the highly pathogenic avian influenza. such infections easily cross national boundaries. containment. particularly Australia. China. but the possibility of a pandemic hangs over the whole region. the disease requires quick diagnosis and intensive information sharing. Japan has donated vaccines. Only a few ASEAN countries have suffered fatalities from the disease. . vaccination policy.

It is in recognition of this that two ASEAN Summits have devoted special sessions to the HIV/AIDS problem. ASEAN cooperation with the Northeast Asian countries in dealing with communicable diseases is prescribed in and guided by the ASEAN Plus Three Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme. in which the regional interest and the necessity of regional action are clear. The haze in question arises largely from fires deliberately set to clear forests for oil palm. The fires are ignited by . Some of it is caused by the burning of peat just beneath the surface of the soil. It gives regional sanction to sometimes-difficult national decisions. in November 2001 and in January 2007. rubber or other plantations. which the ASEAN leaders created in 1992.62 ASEAN According to UNAIDS. It provides regional coherence to international cooperation on a global problem. THE ENVIRONMENT Unlike the management of infectious diseases. While ASEAN’s declared commitments in countering the HIV/AIDS epidemic entail operational action at the national level. ASEAN attention to it furnishes a political and institutional framework for mutual support and the exchange of data and knowledge. but also for neighbouring countries. the countries that have the highest national AIDS infection levels are in Southeast Asia. It has been a concern for ASEAN as a whole and the world at large. the problem of transboundary haze pollution — a case of events in one country severely affecting its neighbours — has been a struggle for Indonesia primarily. Coordinating regional cooperation on HIV/AIDS is the ASEAN Task Force on AIDS. which was adopted in April 2004 and has Australia’s support.

In response to the 1997–98 episode. and affected the global environment. ASEAN has adopted both short-term and longterm measures to deal with all facets of the complex situation. no easy or simple solutions to this huge problem. which ASEAN adopted as a group. poverty. The locations of fires and . Much of the burning takes place in the tropical forests of Indonesia. Accordingly. a basically Singapore facility. navigating the shoals of clashing and intersecting business and political interests. of course. supported by the Haze Technical Task Force. and the diversification of sources of energy as well as environmental considerations. tourism and transportation of the neighbouring countries and to Indonesia’s forests and their ecology. which prescribes action at both regional and national levels to monitor “hot spots”. The ASEAN Specialised Meteorological Centre. It is in this institutional framework that ASEAN countries have pressed Indonesia to try harder in enforcing its own laws and policies against the burning of forests. That disaster wrought immense damage to the agriculture. the most severe since ASEAN’s founding took place in 1997–98. prevent forest and peat fires. It was also in this framework that ASEAN agreed on the Regional Haze Action Plan. tradition. specifically in the 1980s and early 1990s. Notable among these policies is that of zero burning. an ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Haze was organized. The plan and its implementation have had the support of the Asian Development Bank. and mitigate their impact. commerce. Although ASEAN had addressed haze episodes in the past.Working Together for the Common Good 63 a combination of forest clearing and dry conditions during El Niño episodes. posed health problems for their peoples. There were and are. It involves drawing up the appropriate laws and policies and enforcing them. was strengthened.

haze-online. Some ASEAN countries have earmarked firefighting equipment and personnel for deployment in case an ASEAN country afflicted by haze-causing fires requests for assistance. (Indonesia and the Philippines have not ratified it. with the support of other countries and international organizations. ASEAN concluded the Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution in June 2002. Because of the complexity and deep roots of the haze problem. They involve capacity building through train- .id). and the implementing manuals and protocols. ASEAN has taken long-term measures to deal with it in addition to its immediate response. monitor such fires. each party commits itself to ensuring that no activity in its territory harms the environment or human health “beyond its national jurisdiction” and to taking measures to prevent transboundary haze pollution resulting from land or forest fires. The ASEAN Secretariat and the Indonesian Government. its “operationalized” version. After the requisite six ratifications. and campaigns to raise awareness of the zero-burning policy among communities and businesses involved in the clearing of forests. The agreement also has provisions for mutual assistance and the establishment of institutions to ensure compliance and implementation. have conducted simulation exercises.) Under the agreement. The country where the haze arises is obligated to furnish information to an affected country that requests it. and put them out should they occur. the agreement entered into force in November 2003. Many of these measures are embodied in the Regional Haze Action Plan.or. With the support of the UN Environment Programme for its drafting. training programs at the community level.64 ASEAN “hot spots” in Southeast Asia as detected by the centre can be pinpointed daily on ASEAN’s haze Web site (http://www.

Southeast Asia’s natural environment is under severe threat. From 1990 to 2005. However. According to the Third ASEAN State of the Environment Report 2006.Working Together for the Common Good 65 ing. Yet. because of rapid economic growth. simulations and joint exercises. seven out of the world’s 25 recognized biodiversity “hot .35 per cent a year. forests and woodlands cover 45 per cent of ASEAN’s land area. ASEAN has the support of the Asian Development Bank. public education.700 square kilometers of forest. raising awareness of the zero-burning policy among plantation owners and executives and villagers. the UN Environment Programme. mobilizing communities and local governments. ASEAN accounts for 31 per cent of the world’s coral reef area — and 34 per cent of its mangroves — again. In these. and research. the highest among the world’s regions.3 per cent of the whole earth. Southeast Asia suffered an average annual loss of 2. 20 per cent of the world’s known species. However. no less than 80 per cent of ASEAN’s coral reefs is at risk — as against 58 per cent of the world’s total — from pollution. Southeast Asia is incredibly rich in natural resources and biodiversity. so that the region’s forest cover has dropped from 55 per cent in 1990 to 45 per cent in 2005. weak law enforcement in several countries. overfishing and destructive methods such as dynamite and cyanide fishing. and other countries and international organizations. the highest among the regions of the world. the European Union.100 plant and animal species are endemic to Southeast Asia. as against 30. and in some cases outdated policies and a low level of concern. albeit the most prominent one. of ASEAN’s environmental concerns. The haze problem is only one. As many as 27. the United States. the UN Development Programme. the ASEAN region is being deforested at the rate of 1. However.

the ASEAN State of the Environment Reports. which have been published every three years since 1997. which is engaged in formulating policy. promoting public awareness and education. preserve the park areas for the enjoyment of people. With financial support from the European Union. ASEAN has conducted its cooperation on the regional environment in a comprehensive manner. population and other social indicators. forests. ASEAN has recognized that such measures would gain in effectiveness if they were pursued also through regional cooperation. contain a wealth of data not only on fresh water. Southeast Asia still has adequate sources of fresh water. ASEAN has established a Centre for Biodiversity in the Philippines. Because environmental concerns involve many other areas of human life and endeavour. . coral reefs. However. developing capacity.66 ASEAN spots” are also in the region. “hot spots” being biologically rich areas that are under the greatest threat of destruction. and coordinating ASEAN’s collaboration with the international community to conserve and promote Southeast Asia’s biodiversity. and emissions but also on the regional economy. The measures required to hold back and reverse environmental destruction are largely national responsibilities. It has set up a system of “heritage parks” to promote conservation. At the same time. many Southeast Asian cities are plagued by problems of waste disposal and other forms of urban blight. but regional demand is expected to increase by one-third over the next 20 years. With the support of the German and Korean governments. and raise public consciousness of the need to preserve and protect nature. ASEAN has embarked on two programmes for the conservation and restoration of Southeast Asia’s forest ecosystems. Thus.

we have not made the best use of these assets. speaking at a conference in Seoul. in fact. in which ASEAN neighbours can and do take part. in some cases. can be anticipated and the impact of which can sometimes be mitigated. such as the deforestation that causes floods and mudslides and the burning of forests that brings about haze pollution. floods. earthquakes. less than three months after the great tsunami ravaged the countries on the rim of the Indian Ocean. the ASEAN Secretary-General. Others are simply acts of nature. which are impossible to prevent but which. a specifically ASEAN response to a disaster in a member-country would be an obvious focus of ASEAN cooperative action and a vivid manifestation of regional solidarity. Ong Keng Yong.Working Together for the Common Good 67 NATURAL DISASTERS Most Southeast Asian countries are prone to natural disasters — typhoons. they often are too big for ASEAN to handle and require a response from the larger international community. Despite being called “natural”. others in unexpected times. Some of these disasters occur year after year. as early as 1976. some are brought about or aggravated by human activity. Unfortunately. The sad thing is we. the then-five members of ASEAN had issued their Declaration on Mutual Assistance on Natural Disasters pledging to improve their channels of communication . have the technology and resources to deal with such disasters. volcanic eruptions.” In fact. Nevertheless. mudslides. If they are of such magnitude as to call for international assistance. tsunamis. and so on. Most disasters are within the capacity of individual states to deal with. In March 2005. lamented. “The earthquake and tsunami disaster of 26 December 2004 … laid bare our unpreparedness and our weaknesses in collectively addressing such large scale calamities.

68 ASEAN with respect to natural disasters. information and documents. Under the agreement. under which members would voluntarily earmark assets for the purpose. and facilitate it. administer the regional standby arrangements. it was not until 2003 that the experts’ group set up shortly after the declaration’s adoption was elevated into the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management. the impression set in that the agreement was a response to that catastrophe. The agreement calls for the coordination of relief and emergency response operations. to which contributions would. In fact. disseminate “medical supplies. An ASEAN Disaster Management and Emergency Relief Fund has been set up. Made up of the heads of national agencies dealing with natural disasters. The agreement reaffirms the ASEAN countries’ undertaking to render assistance to members afflicted by a natural disaster and commits them jointly and individually to develop “strategies to identify. the ASEAN disaster committee had begun working on it sometime before then. ASEAN did respond quickly to the tsunami. prevent and reduce risks” of such disasters. However. be voluntary. particularly in . Because it was signed seven months after the great tsunami. the committee promptly adopted the ASEAN Regional Programme on Disaster Management for 2004–10 and began working on the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response. services and relief assistance”. an ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance would be established to facilitate cooperation and coordination. including the consolidation and dissemination of data. exchange experts. and otherwise support the implementation of the agreement. at least for now. The strategies would include “regional standby arrangements” for relief and rehabilitation. on 26 July 2005. trainees.

at Malaysia’s request. Laos and Vietnam sent food and cash. Technical cooperation is being carried out with respect to earthquakes. the hardest-hit of the ASEAN members. Two months after the agreement’s signing. including all ten ASEAN leaders and the Prime Ministers of China. Not least. Information is being shared through a dedicated website and a communications system. Disaster-related specialized training is being undertaken. Japan and South Korea. simulation exercises are being conducted. typhoon preparedness. A database has been set up with data from four countries so far. For this. Malaysia. an exercise took place in response to a hypothetical earthquake in Selangor. Fifteen heads of state or government and fifteen ministers were in attendance. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and European Commission President José Manuel Barroso were also on hand. Brunei Darussalam. landslides and river-bank erosion. and training institutes are being linked. killing some 5. Requiring ten ratifications. while Cambodia. the Philippines. However.000 people. a number of its provisions are already being carried out. Malaysia. and an early warning system for haze pollution. Singapore and Thailand deployed teams to the area. the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response has not yet formally entered into force. It was followed by a meeting and a workshop with a view to . Eleven days after the tsunami struck. The exercise also tested the capacity of Malaysia’s own agencies to coordinate their response. ASEAN assistance was mobilized in the aftermath of the earthquake that struck the Yogyakarta area in Central Java on 27 May 2006. ASEAN convened an international summit to deal with the dire situation. Brunei Darussalam and Singapore deployed search-and-rescue teams.Working Together for the Common Good 69 the case of Indonesia. flash floods.

and reaffirmed ASEAN’s commitment to and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms as set out in the Vienna Declaration of 25 June 1993. 14–25 June 1993. These rights are of equal importance. political. They stressed that human rights are interrelated and indivisible comprising civil. The Foreign Ministers welcomed the international consensus achieved during the World Conference on Human Rights in Vienna.70 ASEAN incorporating the lessons learned into the ASEAN Standby Arrangements and Standard Operating Procedures. . HUMAN RIGHTS Some people measure ASEAN’s value in terms of human rights. A similar exercise was held in September 2006 to simulate the ASEAN response to possible flooding in Cambodia. social. ASEAN’s cooperative response to natural disasters is the litmus test of the efficacy of ASEAN cooperation. A third was scheduled in October 2007 to deal with a hypothetical “structural collapse” in Singapore. which included this carefully crafted statement: 16. economic. They should be addressed in a balanced and integrated manner and protected and promoted with due regard for specific cultural. The closest that ASEAN has moved to a common position on human rights was in the Joint Communiqué of the 1993 ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. between self-determination and territorial integrity. The discourse on human rights in ASEAN frequently features the consideration of the balance and tension between individual and community rights. For many among the public. between freedom and order. social and cultural rights. between rights and obligations.

The Foreign Ministers agreed that ASEAN should coordinate a common approach on human rights and actively participate and contribute to the application. They stressed that development is an inalienable right and that the use of human rights as a conditionality for economic cooperation and development assistance is detrimental to international cooperation and could undermine an international consensus on human rights. progress and national stability are promoted by a balance between the rights of the individual and those of the community. They stressed that the violations of basic human rights must be redressed and should not be tolerated under any pretext. They were convinced that freedom. They further stressed the importance of strengthening international cooperation on all aspects of human rights and that all governments should uphold .Working Together for the Common Good 71 economic and political circumstances. enabling them to live in dignity. 17. promotion and protection of human rights. The Foreign Ministers reviewed with satisfaction the considerable and continuing progress of ASEAN in freeing its peoples from fear and want. They noted that the UN Charter had placed the question of universal observance and promotion of human rights within the context of international cooperation. territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of states. through which many individual rights are realized. 18. They emphasized that the promotion and protection of human rights should not be politicized. They emphasized that the protection and promotion of human rights in the international community should take cognizance of the principles of respect for national sovereignty. as provided for in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The measures envisioned include research and data-gathering. To address them. In June 2004. “promote” and “intensify efforts”. There is no evidence that progress in carrying out these intentions. In this regard and in support of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action of 25 June 1993. sector by sector. however. they agreed that ASEAN should also consider the establishment of an appropriate regional mechanism on human rights. is being monitored or followed through. the ASEAN leaders issued in January 2007 the ASEAN Declaration on the Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Migrant Workers. an “integrated” approach to the elimination of violence against women. the 1993 position has not changed. the product of consensus among the then-six ASEAN members. The declaration defines the obligations of both the sending and the receiving states and outlines areas of . The commitments. The problems arising from the increasing numbers of people from ASEAN countries working or seeking jobs in other ASEAN countries have been a growing ASEAN concern. and domestic legislation for that purpose. are far from binding.72 ASEAN humane standards and respect human dignity. the document being sprinkled with such terms as “encourage”. In practice. That document expresses the ASEAN states’ commitment to “endeavour to fully implement the goals and commitments made related to eliminating violence against women and monitor their progress”. This is a balanced statement. general as they are. for example. Since the entry of the four newer members in the late 1990s. ASEAN promotes human rights step by step. the ASEAN foreign ministers signed the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women in the ASEAN Region.

Working Together for the Common Good


ASEAN cooperation on the subject with a view to developing a legal ASEAN instrument on it. While there is nothing coercive about them, these are public commitments that can be invoked in case of egregious violations of human rights. The problem is that the scope of ASEAN’s concern with human rights is expanding much too slowly, with differing national imperatives hindering faster progress. The aspect of human rights on which ASEAN is firmly united has been the question of labour rights, specifically in terms of its opposition to the use of labour rights in international trade agreements for disguised protectionist purposes. In this light, ASEAN insists that the subject of labour rights be dealt with in the International Labour Organization rather than in international trade negotiations.

In January 2003, hundreds of young Cambodians set fire to the Thai embassy in Phnom Penh and destroyed Thaiowned business establishments in the Cambodian capital. The immediate trigger for the riots was a report in the Cambodian media that a popular Thai television actress had claimed that the famed ruins of Angkor Wat and the land where it is located rightfully belonged to Thailand, a statement that the actress subsequently denied making. The Prime Ministers of the two countries quickly went on the telephone and agreed to defuse the situation, with the Cambodians pledging restitution for the damage done. The situation soon calmed down. This sequence of events revealed two things about ASEAN. One was that, because of the close relationships developed among Southeast Asian leaders, it is possible to manage crisis situations by personal contact before they get out of control.



The other was that animosities rooted in the past have a way of igniting popular passions between Southeast Asian nations. This has been manifested in other, occasional flare-ups of temper between neighbours. Such flare-ups often arise from inadequate understanding or visceral antipathies, which rational discourse and friendly networking among leaders and elites have so far managed to transcend and overcome. However, one cannot be sure that the leaders and elites will or can do it every time. ASEAN has contributed significantly to regional peace and stability. However, its political solidarity is not assured. Neither is the continued compliance with the norms agreed upon for inter-state relations and so far adhered to. ASEAN has recognized the need for regional economic integration and has laid the foundations for it. However, implementation has been slow and, in some cases, reluctant. ASEAN has cooperated on a number of regional problems requiring regional solutions, but the member-states have to carry out this cooperation more regularly, expeditiously, and effectively, as well as in good faith. The fundamental source of ASEAN’s shortcomings in these respects has been the insufficient sense of regional identity among the peoples of Southeast Asia, even among the elites. One might say that people have a sense of regional identity to the extent that they are truly convinced that the regional welfare is also in their national or even personal interest, that good relations with neighbours are essential for their own — and the nation’s — security and well-being, that the integration of the regional economy would expand their own opportunities for jobs and increased incomes, and that regional cooperation is necessary in dealing with such problems as those related to the environment, communicable diseases, and

Working Together for the Common Good


transnational crime. Unless people have this sense of regional identity, a feeling of regional community, they will not have enough confidence in one another and in regional institutions and processes to ensure regional peace and stability, genuinely integrate the regional economy, and substantially enable regional cooperation to deal with regional problems. ASEAN’s leaders have long acknowledged this. Their ASEAN Vision 2020, issued in 1997, aspired for “an ASEAN community conscious of its ties of history, aware of its cultural heritage and bound by a common regional identity”. In the 2003 Declaration of ASEAN Concord II, they saw the ASEAN Community as “fostering regional identity as well as cultivating people’s awareness of ASEAN”. These aspirations, so necessary for ASEAN’s purposes, cannot, of course, be achieved quickly. They require patient, long-term effort. A keen awareness of one’s ASEAN neighbours has to be cultivated — their cultures, religions and histories. Mutual understanding and empathy have to be developed. Southeast Asia as a region and ASEAN as an institution have to be understood and appreciated. People have to be convinced that, to a significant extent, the peace, stability and progress of the region would be of genuine benefit to them. The alternative is not pretty. Mutual prejudices, suspicions and antipathies could easily rise to the surface, increasing tensions between states. The regional economy would continue to be fragmented, stunting the region’s global competitiveness. The region’s capacity to deal regionally with regional problems would not grow. For all this, education is essential, education of the general public and of the young and those in school. The 1998 Hanoi Plan of Action urged ASEAN to “Develop linkages with mass media networks and websites on key areas of ASEAN

mainly on the occasion of ASEAN anniversaries and at the time of their hosting of the ASEAN Summit or the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting. ASEAN has done this through youth camps and jamborees. an understanding of Southeast Asia and the countries in it would be most effectively developed through formal education at an early age — at the primary and secondary . organized and funded by the Japanese Government since 1974.76 ASEAN cooperation to disseminate regular and timely information on ASEAN”. ASEAN youth also get together on the “Ship for Southeast Asian Youth”. However. However. again. The 2004 Vientiane Action Programme called on ASEAN to “Mainstream the promotion of ASEAN awareness and regional identity in national communications plans and educational curricula”. The member-states have been doing their part. However. raising awareness of ASEAN. The Secretariat needs immensely more resources to sustain them. The ASEAN Secretariat has been carrying out publicinformation programmes. Programmes for bringing together the youth of ASEAN are important for making friends across the region. ASEAN has presented joint moderndance performances of the Ramayana. promoting media coverage. need to be sustained. and conducting quizzes and art and essay contests. such efforts have been uneven and. visiting Southeast Asian and Japanese ports. mounting exhibits. these efforts have been sporadic at best. It has conducted popular-song festivals among member-countries. making friends. and cultivating a regional identity. in which 30 young people from each ASEAN country and 40 from Japan go on a cruise on the Nippon Maru every year. forming networks. It has taken out television commercials promoting ASEAN as a single tourist destination.

ASEAN’s founding document. The 1976 Declaration of ASEAN Concord called for the “Introduction of the study of ASEAN. Yet. the ASEAN Declaration of 8 August 1967. . its member states and their national languages as part of the curricula of schools and other institutions of learning in the member states”. Unfortunately. ASEAN’s leaders and governments have recognized this from the beginning. laid down as one of the association’s seven “aims and purposes” the promotion of Southeast Asian studies. progress towards ASEAN’s principal purposes depends greatly on the ability and willingness of the association and its members to do so. little has been done to carry out these wise mandates.Working Together for the Common Good 77 levels.

to loosen its involvement in the quarrels of the big powers and to avoid being an arena for the conflicts of others. At the same time. despite its move to deal with others as a group. economicgrowth trajectory. appropriately enough. ASEAN has been pragmatic and flexible enough to take into consideration the individual members’ particular interests in bilateral security and economic relations with other countries. ASEAN’s strategic location. THE DIALOGUE SYSTEM From the start.Chapter 5 Relations with the Rest of the World One of ASEAN’s strengths is not just its willingness but its assiduous endeavours to link up with countries and organizations that can contribute to its development and security and to those of its member-states. ASEAN has taken this position despite its clear intention. at the time of its founding. emerging political solidarity. was with the 79 . ASEAN’s external relations have been driven by both political and economic motives. On the other hand. and openness to the outside world have attracted the interest of the world’s major powers. resource endowments. The first relationship that ASEAN entered into.

) As ASEAN ministers noted then. promoting European investments in ASEAN. a relationship with Brussels also meant an important mark of international recognition. the European Union (EU) sees ASEAN as a commercial and strategic link to the fast-rising East Asian region. ASEAN used the dialogue with the EEC as a vehicle for seeking access for the member-countries’ products to the lucrative European market. intellectual and people-to-people exchanges sponsored by the Asia Europe Foundation. To reinforce its relationship with the association. Since 1996. In somewhat of a contrast. (Some date the formalization of the ASEAN-EEC relationship in 1977. in 1973. the most advanced among the world’s regional associations. the political benefits of the relationship have also been high in ASEAN’s mind. which was set up in 1997 and is headquartered in Singapore. the EU supports some ASEAN projects. However.80 ASEAN European Economic Community (EEC). when ASEAN and the EEC began to conduct an “informal dialogue”. For its part. and attracting development assistance to the member-states. This relationship is underpinned by the numerous cultural. energy and regional economic integration. now including all ASEAN member-states. which competed directly with Southeast Asia’s . have been meeting at the summit in the Asia Europe Meeting every two years. To them. particularly those having to do with the environment. the relationship between ASEAN as a group and Japan started with a specific economic issue — the surge in Japan’s production and export of synthetic rubber. the EU member-states and Asian countries. In practical terms. EU and ASEAN ministers meet regularly for discussions on international issues and on the relations between the two groups. it was right that the association should engage in a dialogue with another regional group.

crude oil. Kakuei Tanaka. The Fukuda Doctrine had three components: • Japan’s commitment to peace and rejection of military power. soon after the Pacific War. this time in peaceful terms. social and cultural. Tokyo had once again looked to Southeast Asia as a source of minerals. After its Prime Minister. Japan felt it increasingly necessary to deal with ASEAN as a group and with Southeast Asia as a region. underwent the unnerving experience of being threatened by anti-Japanese mobs in Bangkok and Jakarta in January 1974. together with those of Australia and New Zealand. In this light. On Japan’s part. Those relations would have to encompass the political. and other raw materials and as a market for Japanese manufactured products. ASEAN first raised the issue with Japan in 1973. as well as the economic. generating goodwill as well as markets. and its foreign ministers took it up formally with their Japanese counterpart the next year. timber. to hold such a meeting with ASEAN as a group. He had been the first foreign leader. particularly Malaysia’s. . Japan started to provide development assistance to build the required infrastructure in Southeast Asia and raise the purchasing power of its people. With ASEAN showing signs of long-term viability and growing political influence. which followed his summit meeting with their leaders in 1977. Prime Minister Takeo Fukuda articulated this decision in the “doctrine” that he enunciated at the end of his tour of ASEAN countries.Relations with the Rest of the World 81 exports of natural rubber. Japan decided that it had to put its relationship with ASEAN in a broader context so as to strengthen relations with Southeast Asia in a more comprehensive way.

succeeding Japanese Prime Ministers have frequently invoked the Fukuda Doctrine. Similarly. Japan has been an important source of support for the development of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. Since then. directly or through the Asian Development Bank. and “mutual understanding” with the nations of Indochina. Japan began encouraging firms to relocate their operations to Southeast Asia. substantially contributing to the region’s industrialization. Tokyo promoted Japanese . Japan has been by far the region’s primary source of official development assistance. stress the importance of cultural and people-to-people relations with the Southeast Asian countries. basing on it their respective initiatives for strengthening the overall relationship between ASEAN and Japan. whether for its individual members or for ASEAN as a group. with the assistance going into infrastructure. support for their “efforts to strengthen their solidarity and resilience”.82 ASEAN • • The consolidation of mutual confidence between Japan and Southeast Asia on the basis of “‘heart-to-heart’ understanding”. human resource development. Equal partnership with ASEAN and its member-countries. each Prime Minister has made the rounds of the ASEAN countries early in his incumbency. and give assurances of Japan’s support for ASEAN as an association while reaching out to the new regimes in Indochina. Aside from being those countries’ leading or second trading partner. After the revaluation of the yen pursuant to the Plaza Accord of 1985. Evidently. the Japanese intended to dispel any notion of Japan as a military threat. Starting with Fukuda’s 1977 swing around Southeast Asia. and institutional capacity building. It has been at the forefront of countries extending emergency help to ASEAN nations stricken by disasters.

followed suit in 1974. it led regional efforts to recover from the crisis and prevent its recurrence. Japan finances the Center to the extent of 90 per cent. that was rebuffed by the United States. proposing an Asian Monetary Fund. and New Zealand in 1975. The CMI will be discussed in further detail below. Following the Asian financial crisis of 1997–98. the United States entered into a Dialogue relationship with ASEAN in 1977. the first to discuss economic cooperation projects as well as trade issues with ASEAN. Australia. the Ship for Southeast Asian Youth. Japan has served as the anchor for the network of bilateral currency swap and repurchase agreements that is meant to discourage speculation on the region’s currencies. a scholarship programme for ASEAN students. Australia was the first individual country to be an ASEAN Dialogue Partner. Established in 1981. seeking to strengthen its links with Asia. a move. and the Solidarity Fund in the ASEAN Foundation. It has lent its considerable economic weight to the other measures to stabilize the regional economy taken under the so-called Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) of the ASEAN Plus Three process. So did Canada. Chastened by its tragedy in Vietnam but continuing to maintain considerable interests in Asia. the ASEAN Center in the heart of Tokyo promotes ASEAN exports in Japan and Japanese investments and tourism in ASEAN. Japan has also been supporting youth and cultural exchange programmes. the Friendship Programme for the 21st Century. however.Relations with the Rest of the World 83 tourism to Southeast Asia as part of its attempt to redress its trade surpluses with the rest of the world. With Europe and Japan recognizing ASEAN’s value and establishing “dialogues” with it. with the balance of 10 per cent shared equally by ASEAN’s member-states. An ASEAN-Australia . including the ASEAN Cultural Fund.

Australia has a clear interest in close relations with ASEAN. which are quite concrete and pragmatic and come in phases covering several years each. and the hub of East Asian and Asia-Pacific regionalism. military power and political influence. Bush administration. in alternative sources of energy and in forestry — in its development cooperation with ASEAN. and at subsequent . By virtue of its extensive trade. Contrary to perceptions shaped by the mass media. Exchanges of views on security and strategic issues between ASEAN and the U. has always been a prominent participant in the Post-Ministerial Conferences and the ASEAN Regional Forum. President Bush met with the leaders of the ASEAN members of APEC on the occasion of the APEC Economic Leaders Meetings in Los Cabos. the United States is one of ASEAN’s indispensable Dialogue Partners. officials. Washington’s ties with Southeast Asia as a region and ASEAN as a regional entity have intensified under the George W.S. Mexico. — leaders. academics — are extremely valuable. Its ties with the U. provide ASEAN with broader strategic options beyond East Asia. in 2002. Wellington has been active in supporting capacity building in the newer members of ASEAN. ministers. an additional platform for its ties with East Asia.84 ASEAN Forum manages the projects. The U.S.S. investment and tourism links with ASEAN’s member-countries and of its economic heft. Although it is a small country with a relatively small economy. New Zealand exploits its strengths — specifically. together with those of Australia and Japan. which Canberra sees as an avenue for its engagement with Southeast Asia. particularly in support of ASEAN’s economic integration. New Zealand’s Prime Minister met with ASEAN’s heads of government on the occasion of the second ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur in 1977.

have worked in the ASEAN Secretariat. energy. Enhanced Partnership. Specialists from the U. The United Nations Development Programme became an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 1977. and the future appointment of a U. transport and other ASEAN ministerial bodies. ambassador to ASEAN has been announced. Active cooperation was interrupted in 1997 on account of Canada’s refusal to have any dealings with Myanmar and to extend assistance to Brunei Darussalam and Singapore. including contacts with the economic. links with ASEAN and articulates American business interests in Southeast Asia. It was resumed in 2004. The ASEAN Cooperation Programme. being at that time one of the few developed.S. counterparts in Washington and been received at Cabinet level in the U. However.S. transportation and communications.S. market economies.Relations with the Rest of the World 85 such meetings.S. which was issued in Washington and in all ASEAN capitals in 2005. capital. With a membership of more than a hundred of the U.S. The Joint Vision Statement on the ASEAN-U. places ASEAN-U. which encompasses the ASEAN-U. Technical Assistance and Training Facility. Based on the ASEAN-Canada Economic Agreement. leading corporations. initiated in 2002. development cooperation focused on forestry. finance.S. human resource development.S. An ASEAN liaison officer has been assigned to the U.S. development cooperation within a coherent framework. trade and investment flows between ASEAN and Canada have been rather thin. A regional aid office has been set up in Bangkok.S. but it is a special case. Canada was one of ASEAN’s first six Dialogue Partners.S. the US-ASEAN Business Council has been the primary advocate of strong U. fisheries. agriculture. relations in the future. ASEAN senior officials have met with their U. followed by a Plan of Action.S. being . embassy in Jakarta. set the direction of ASEAN-U.

to developedcountry markets. Canada. before the 1990s. protecting those products from synthetic competition or releases from strategic stockpiles. used the Dialogues as a venue for gaining access for their products. as an additional political and economic link to East Asia as a whole. Japan. such as on the Cambodian situation of the 1980s and on the Indochinese asylum-seekers. for about a decade and a half. encouraging investments in ASEAN countries. and. New Zealand and the United States — plus the UNDP. the Dialogue system was limited to the ASEAN countries’ major trading partners and sources of investments and development aid. It occasionally takes part in limited segments of ASEAN’s PostMinisterial Conferences. consideration is being given to conferring Dialogue Partner status on the UN itself. ASEAN also used the Dialogue process to gain international support for its diplomatic positions. Although strategic considerations were never far from their minds.86 ASEAN the only international agency in the Dialogue system. ASEAN has served the useful purpose of . They use ASEAN mainly to strengthen their presence in the region. Thus. the Dialogue Partners have been driven mostly by political as well as economic motives in their relations with ASEAN. and drawing development assistance to them. to maintain a voice in developments there. the ASEAN countries. For the Dialogue Partners. It was not until 1991 that ASEAN added a new Dialogue Partner — South Korea. on the part of those from outside the region. which were at the time mostly commodities. For their part. that is. With ASEAN assuming the status of UN observer in December 2006. which was technically a developing country but had become highly industrialised and acquired many of the characteristics of a developed economy. the European Community. the developed world — Australia.

albeit at different paces and in different ways. and youth and cultural exchanges. environmental protection.Relations with the Rest of the World 87 giving a regional. which has included economic and technical assistance. under President Kim Dae Jung. especially for the newer ASEAN members. Thus. the relationship between ASEAN and China has been the fastest to develop among the ASEAN Dialogue Partnerships. Even before China formally entered the Dialogue system in 1996. South Korea became an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 1991. for both ASEAN and the Dialogue Partners. the ASEANChina relationship had started to grow rapidly. Since their collaboration on the Cambodian conflict in the 1980s and its eventual political settlement. with each Dialogue Partner. India and Russia into the Dialogue system. They became ASEAN Dialogue Partners in 1996. Seoul has been crisp and business-like in its approach to development cooperation with ASEAN. ASEAN considered it useful to bring China. Having sought a Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN as early as 1982. It was. the Dialogue system has a mixture of political and economic components. their economies were surging. Since then. political dimension to their relations with Southeast Asia. As the political element in the Dialogues grew in the 1990s. and from time to time. with joint committees on trade and economic cooperation and on science and technology being set up in 1994 and a regular political consultative forum of senior foreign ministry officials being launched . The three countries were deemed to have important strategic roles to play in East Asia. which is strategically and economically important to them. the proportions of which have varied with each ASEAN country. at the forefront of the development of the ASEAN Plus Three process. Moreover.

these policy frameworks send signals to ASEAN and China’s officials and business people affirming the importance of their countries to each other and strengthen the political ties between them. signed in 2002. China was a founding participant in the ASEAN Regional Forum and was the first Dialogue Partner to accede to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. The process resulted in the 2002 Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea. On the jurisdictional disputes that China has with four ASEAN members in the South China Sea. Aside from resulting in that economy’s spectacular growth. ASEAN and China have reinforced market forces by entering into agreements that provide policy frameworks for their rapidly growing trade and investment links. and a dispute-settlement mechanism have been concluded. with the investment component still being negotiated. The centrepiece is the ASEAN-China Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation. Beijing. and refrain from moving into unoccupied land features in the South China Sea. reformed China’s economy and opened it to the world.88 ASEAN in 1995. With the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 and the rout of the radical Maoist faction in the Chinese leadership. Pursuant to this. China’s economic reforms eventually opened new opportunities for its Southeast Asian neighbours. an informal code of conduct committing all parties not to resort to force. agreements on trade in goods. China . Beijing. under Deng Xiaoping’s leadership. trade in services. exercise self-restraint. Besides liberalizing and promoting trade and investments between them and laying down agreed rules for them. faced with determined ASEAN solidarity on the issue. altered its posture from its insistence on dealing with the ASEAN claimants individually to discussing the matter with ASEAN as a group.

China has agreed to set up an ASEAN-China Centre for Trade. It would have been the first developing country to do so. ASEAN and India have been cooperating largely on the basis of India’s strengths in the biological sciences. India also represents a rapidly growing market and a potential investment destination. ASEAN and India are negotiating a free trade area agreement. Pursuant to the 2003 Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation. and human resource development in general. on the occasion of the ASEAN Summit in Phnom Penh. The ASEAN-India summit has been held annually ever since. and the Dialogue Partnership was held in abeyance. India almost became an ASEAN Dialogue Partner as early as 1980. After the Russian Federation’s emergence from the breakup of the Soviet Union and following the settlement of the Cambodian problem. Within the framework of the Dialogue relationship. together with China and Russia.Relations with the Rest of the World 89 also organizes an annual China-ASEAN EXPO in Nanning. and with India undertaking reforms in its economy and opening it up. ASEAN and India found themselves on opposite sides of the Cambodian conflict in the 1980s. However. ASEAN and Moscow began to look at . information technology. For countries like Singapore and Malaysia. and started participating in the ASEAN Regional Forum. ASEAN’s interest in India arises from the strategic role that New Delhi plays in Asian and global affairs. After the settlement of the Cambodian problem. pharmaceuticals. the ASEAN leaders met with India’s Prime Minister for their first summit. small and medium enterprises. the Chinese provincial capital closest to Southeast Asia. India finally entered the ASEAN Dialogue system in 1996. In 2002. Investments and Tourism similar to the long-standing such center in Tokyo.

The ASEAN foreign ministers invited their Japanese counterpart to meet with them on the occasion of the 1978 ASEAN Ministerial Meeting to discuss ways of following through on the decisions at the ASEAN-Japan Summit of 1977. Russia is a member of the Quartet that is nudging the Israel-Palestine peace process along. THE POST-MINISTERIAL CONFERENCES For more than 25 years. It is in partnership with China and four Central Asian states in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Despite its diminished size. Russia considers itself as an Asian power. New Zealand and the European Community expressed . Russia has remained a power to reckon with in world affairs. It has been admitted to the Asian Cooperation Dialogue. Russia has enormous energy resources. It was for its strategic importance that Russia became an ASEAN Dialogue Partner in 1996 and was a founding participant in the ASEAN Regional Forum. It is a nuclear-weapon state that is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. from which it has considerably bolstered its financial power as a result of soaring energy prices. ASEAN does not consider its relations with Russia substantive enough to merit Moscow’s inclusion in the East Asia Summit. Australia. the dialogues have been consolidated in gatherings at the ministerial level. Nevertheless. which has conducted joint military exercises. It takes part in the Six-Party Talks on the nuclear problem in North Korea. It has made significant advances in certain sectors of science and technology. notably of its Navy. the United States. a loose forum of nations in a region stretching from Central Asia to East Asia. with a robust military presence. The next year. An important factor in the Middle East.90 ASEAN each other with interest.

they discussed the situation on the Korean peninsula and the threat of climate change. India.Relations with the Rest of the World 91 their interest in also meeting with ASEAN. and Australia and New Zealand. hence. they include technical assistance for the ASEAN parties that need them. At the “working lunch” among ASEAN and its ten Dialogue Partners in August 2007. together and individually. five-year plans of action to set the direction of most Dialogue Partnerships. ASEAN engages its Dialogue Partners. particularly in the light of Vietnam’s incursion into Cambodia and the continuing problem of Indochinese asylum-seekers. South Korea. have been convened annually since then. they are called the Post-Ministerial Conferences. the FTA or CEP arrangements . They have been taking place immediately after the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meetings. In some cases. These arrangements are expressly intended to reduce or remove obstacles to trade and investments and facilitate them. Such meetings. Japan. forums and joint committees are convened between ASEAN officials and those of each Dialogue Partner for more detailed discussions of the issues and for decisions on specific cooperative projects and other activities. including Canada and. in discussions of global and regional issues and initiatives for regional cooperation. In recent years. In addition. for example. In these conferences. Just as or even more importantly. FREE TRADE AREAS AND ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIPS ASEAN has been at various stages of negotiating and concluding free trade area (FTA) or “comprehensive economic partnership” (CEP) arrangements with China. the four additional Dialogue Partners. “comprehensive partnership agreements” have been adopted with three.

in the context of which the U. the investments component is still under negotiation.S.92 ASEAN are politically considered as hallmarks of close relations with ASEAN. Malaysia. The U. ASEAN and the United States have entered into a broad Trade and Investment Framework Arrangement. Japan had been concluding “economic partnership” agreements with individual ASEAN countries — so far. primarily over the pace of tariff reductions and India’s reluctance to free up trade in agriculture. Indonesia.S. the arrangement with China is the most advanced. Similarly. which are to some extent already being carried out. has concluded such an . ASEAN and India are still struggling in their own negotiations. Thailand and Brunei Darussalam. In November 2007. with Singapore. agreements on trade in goods and on a dispute-settlement mechanism were concluded in 2004 and a framework agreement on trade in services was signed in 2007. with the investments component to follow. In the meantime. In accordance with the 2002 ASEAN-China Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation. ASEAN and South Korea concluded the trade-in-goods component in 2006 (minus Thailand on account of continuing disputes over agricultural trade) and established a dispute-settlement mechanism. would negotiate free-trade agreements with individual ASEAN members. ASEAN and Japan concluded negotiations on a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. As of this writing. scheduled for signing in 2008. ASEAN’s negotiations with Australia and New Zealand together have been taking the longest time but are also the most comprehensive. prominently including technical assistance and capacity building. An agreement on services was signed in 2007. Of these. pursuant to a 2005 comprehensive agreement. the Philippines.

with the EU insisting that only a comprehensive agreement including services and investments makes sense and ASEAN preferring initially to negotiate only on trade in goods. Accordingly. a free-trade or comprehensive-partnership agreement sends a signal of the importance in which the two parties hold their overall relationship with each other. Not least. Similar negotiations with Thailand are in abeyance. Senior officials of ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners met in Singapore in May 1993 to discuss how to carry out this mandate. the settlement of the Cambodian problem.Relations with the Rest of the World 93 agreement with Singapore and has started negotiating one with Malaysia. the political importance of the Dialogues intensified as a result of the altered configuration of the strategic situation following the end of the Cold War. conclusion and implementation of freetrade or comprehensive-partnership agreements serve to clarify economic issues between them. the reforms in China. at the ASEAN Summit of January 1992. and. THE ASEAN REGIONAL FORUM By the early 1990s. its leaders directed ASEAN to “intensify its external dialogues in political and security matters by using the ASEAN Post Ministerial Conferences”. the negotiation. Aside from easing trade and investment flows between the parties. They highlight for the business community of one party the opportunities offered by the other. With Vietnam not yet an ASEAN . in Southeast Asia. They can be used as platforms for the launch of domestic reforms that would be necessary not only by virtue of the demands of the agreements themselves but also for the overall competitiveness of the economies concerned. ASEAN and the European Union have started negotiations on a free-trade agreement.

India took part in the ARF ministerial meeting for the first time in 1996. Accordingly. Inevitably. and Laos and Vietnam. with the entry of four countries from South Asia. TREATY OF AMITY AND COOPERATION At the first ASEAN Summit in February 1976. Mongolia was admitted into the forum in 1999. the year of its entry into the ASEAN Dialogue system. increasing ARF participation to 27 as of mid2007. The others were China and Russia. ASEAN invited not only its Dialogue Partners but also others to a gathering called the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) on the occasion of the annual ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Bangkok in mid-1994. Timor-Leste in 2005. Cambodia had joined the ARF. an ASEAN observer on the way to full membership. the peaceful settlement of inter-state disputes. A year earlier. Pakistan in 2004. the ASEAN leaders signed the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. at the time ASEAN observers on the way to membership. The ARF is discussed more extensively in Chapter 2. the ARF’s “footprint” is bound to expand beyond the Asia-Pacific. after an informal meeting among ministers in July 1993. having become. and Sri Lanka in 2007. which embodies Southeast Asia’s commitment to its norms for inter-state relations — the rejection of the use or threat of force. and non- . an observer in ASEAN since 1976.94 ASEAN member and China and Russia not yet in the Dialogue system. Papua New Guinea. Bangladesh in 2006. North Korea in 2000. like Myanmar. it soon became quite clear that regional security could not be fruitfully discussed without their participation. categorized in ASEAN’s usual creative and pragmatic way as “consultative partners”. Together with Myanmar.

China’s economy was continuing its extraordinary surge.Relations with the Rest of the World 95 interference in others’ internal affairs. with ASEAN sorting out the legal questions surrounding the accession by a non-state party. The United Kingdom has expressed an interest in acceding to the treaty. Subsequent ASEAN members had to sign on to the treaty. Moreover. Australia in December 2005. Papua New Guinea did so in 1989. these countries adopted the ASEAN norms for inter-state relations. Malaysia’s Prime Minister. France and East Timor in January 2007. By doing so. New Zealand and Mongolia in July 2005. The European Union has reached a decision to be a party to the treaty. is at a higher level than that of the North American Free Trade Agreement and approaching that in the European Union. promoting East Asian contacts would help manage the tensions and potential conflicts in the relations among the three Northeast Asian powers. At the same time. Mahathir Mohamad. Japan and Pakistan in July 2004. the East Asian economy was becoming more integrated in terms of trade and investment flows. as a percentage of total East Asian trade. so that today intraregional trade. Dr. South Korea and Russia in November 2004. gave voice to his recognition of this when he proposed an East Asia . and Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in August 2007. Japan and South Korea. After the signatories amended the treaty in 1987 to allow non-regional states to accede to it. Japan remained eager to play its role as Asia’s economic leader. it had become evident to ASEAN that the times were calling for a heightened relationship with its neighbours in the north — China. ASEAN PLUS THREE By the early 1990s. Korea’s was maintaining its dynamic industrial expansion. China and India in 2003.

health. undertaking activities and projects of varying degrees of concreteness. women issues. science and technology. of ASEAN Plus Three’s areas of cooperation is finance. that East Asian regionalism gained both visibility and momentum with the first summit of ASEAN with China. trade and investment. It was not until December 1997. Since then. and its summits would be held in conjunction with the annual ASEAN Summit. social welfare. which was . These pertain to political and security matters.96 ASEAN Economic Group in December 1990. as well as finance. almost all at the ministerial level. together and with each of them. ASEAN Plus Three had 16 active forums. energy. ASEAN leaders have met with their counterparts from the three Northeast Asian countries every year. However. not counting the ASEAN Secretariat. It would be presided over by the ASEAN chair. No less than 48 mechanisms. the proposal did not make much headway in ASEAN. This is most prominently embodied in the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI). and rural development. partly because of a lack of prior consultation within the association. culture and the arts. labour. and in diverse states of focus and coherence. Until the foreign ministers endorsed four new forums in July 2006. agriculture. at different stages of development. disaster risk management and emergency response. The four new areas of cooperation are rural development and poverty eradication. tourism. youth. The process was called ASEAN Plus Three to signal its informal nature and ASEAN’s leadership role in it. transnational crime. The leading. and perhaps most important. Japan and Korea. and minerals. fisheries and forestry. information and communications technology. manage and drive these activities and projects. in Kuala Lumpur. the environment. The ASEAN Plus Three process has been steadily expanding into an increasing number of areas of cooperation.

with Japan at its core and the ADB backstopping it. The system is being gradually “multilateralized”. ASEAN Plus Three . could discourage currency speculation and bring an added measure of financial stability to the region. While some economists consider the amount involved as too small to make any difference in an actual financial crisis. the very existence of the network of swap arrangements. above all. The total value of the 16 arrangements agreed upon so far amounts to some US$80 billion. Another is a network of bilateral currency swap and repurchase agreements under which each of the parties would make available foreign exchange to the other party in the arrangement should the latter find itself in a serious balance-of-payments problem. a measure for avoiding surprises like that sprung by the financial crisis. It provides forums. Beyond these areas of practical cooperation. Another is the enlargement of the ASEAN Swap Arrangement to include all ten ASEAN members and to a value of US$2 billion.Relations with the Rest of the World 97 launched in 2000 to help East Asian nations recover from the 1997–98 financial crisis and. for building confidence among the countries of East Asia and a political framework for the growing linkages between the economies of Southeast and Northeast Asia. and is exploring ways of coordinating exchange rates. One is a system for conducting. the CMI has several components. prevent its recurrence. Not least. that is. Supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as well as the ASEAN Secretariat. including the annual summits. the collective surveillance and review of the regional economy. the ASEAN Plus Three process serves a number of strategic purposes. at the ministerial and senior officials’ levels. consolidated and subjected to collective decision. ASEAN Plus Three has also launched the Asian Bond Market Initiative. which is intended to use East Asia’s enormous savings for investments in East Asia.

Although neither the EAVG nor the EASG envisioned this to happen anytime soon. A larger EAS would in certain ways provide value beyond ASEAN Plus Three. Some member-states wanted to restrict it to ASEAN Plus Three as. President Kim Dae Jung of the Republic of Korea proposed the establishment of an East Asia Vision Group (EAVG) of “eminent intellectuals” to recommend ways of developing an East Asian community. The 2000 ASEAN Plus Three Summit appointed an East Asia Study Group (EASG) of senior officials and the ASEAN SecretaryGeneral to assess the EAVG recommendations. initially to include ASEAN’s next circle of important neighbours. India and New Zealand into cooperative . The ASEAN Plus Three leaders quickly supported the ASEAN decision. it seems. Singapore had signaled a similar preference. ASEAN was divided on the question. in 1998. originally intended. That issue was basically one of whether to limit EAS participation to ASEAN Plus Three or to include other states in it. THE EAST ASIA SUMMIT At the second ASEAN Plus Three Summit. the ASEAN Summit of 2004 decided to convene the East Asia Summit in conjunction with the ASEAN and ASEAN Plus Three Summits in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated Indonesia’s desire for the inclusion of Australia. Japan and Korea. bring Australia.98 ASEAN offers an additional venue for informal contacts among China. India and New Zealand in the EAS. apparently without the issue of participation being settled. One of the long-term recommendations was for the establishment of an East Asia Summit. In answer to a question after his Singapore Lecture in February 2005. Others preferred the broader participation.

“The third criterion — whether a prospective EAS participant has ‘substantive’ relations with ASEAN — is more subjective. and signal ASEAN’s open-ended desire to engage the international community beyond East Asia. India signed the treaty in October 2003. the third is a matter of judgment and. particularly economically. ASEAN was already having annual summit meetings with India. I noted. Indeed. In my paper “Russia. The first two criteria — Dialogue Partner status and accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation — are objective enough. If. while Australia and New Zealand had been holding intensive talks with ASEAN on a “comprehensive economic partnership” between the two groups. an ASEAN member wished a Dialogue Partner and treaty party to participate in the EAS. Whereas the other two criteria are matters of fact. India and New Zealand were increasingly linked to East Asia. New Zealand in July 2005. but. if another ASEAN member had an interest in . therefore. Russia-ASEAN Relations: New Directions. Australia and New Zealand have been ASEAN Dialogue Partners since 1974 and 1975. four days before the first EAS. and India since 1996. Australia had publicly denigrated the treaty. had to do a policy turnaround and acceded to it in Kuala Lumpur.Relations with the Rest of the World 99 endeavours to which they could usefully contribute. and substantive relations with ASEAN. with the ASEAN foreign ministers agreeing in April 2005 on three conditions for participation — the status of full ASEAN Dialogue Partner. On the other hand. respectively. ASEAN and East Asia” in the ISEAS publication. for political reasons. Australia. The view favouring the broader participation in the EAS ultimately prevailed. faced with exclusion from the EAS. it could argue that that country’s relations with ASEAN are ‘substantive’. of political decision. accession to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia.

CONCLUSIONS The succession of frameworks that ASEAN has built over the years for relating to other countries and regions has provided political platforms for ASEAN to relate to the world’s developed countries and strategic powers and other significant actors on the regional stage. and “Energy. it could claim that the latter’s relations with ASEAN are not “substantive” enough.100 ASEAN blocking that Dialogue Partner’s participation. the Philippines.. Climate Change and Sustainable Development” in Singapore in November 2007. Environment. It has.S. apparently preferring to let each forum evolve over time. there should be no reason why Australia. China and others with a benign multilateral environment for developing their relations with each other and with the rest of the region and other important . helped to keep the United States engaged in East Asia in constructive ways and to provide the U. as is usual in diplomacy.” The distinction between the functions of ASEAN Plus Three and the EAS remains fuzzy. each of them did focus on a subject of great significance for people in Asia and in the world — the threat of an avian influenza pandemic in Kuala Lumpur in December 2005. India and New Zealand cannot join any of the cooperative endeavours of ASEAN Plus Three if it would be in the interest of all involved for them to do so. with ASEAN at its core. the political decision determines the public argument rather than the other way around. in January 2007. In other words. for example. energy security in Cebu. Meanwhile. While the three EAS meetings so far have been largely devoted to discussions of broad strategic and economic issues. The countries involved have not sought to clarify it.

harmless. as well as creativity. investments and other economic interactions. as the three Northeast Asian powers do on the occasion of the ASEAN Plus Three meetings. They also express the intention of ASEAN and its partners to intensify their relationships. the external powers find ASEAN convenient as the convener and hub of regional forums for interaction. At the same time. The free trade area and economic partnership agreements that ASEAN has been concluding with major partners are not only measures for promoting trade. . imagination and a keen sense of the region’s long-term strategic interests. the agreements require and encourage reforms in domestic policy. deeper economic integration.Relations with the Rest of the World 101 parts of the world. In order to derive maximum benefit from leading the process of East Asian and Asia-Pacific regionalism and enhance the effectiveness of its leadership role. The negotiations leading to the agreements clarify positions and concerns and enable the parties to identify and reach common ground. ASEAN being benign. neutral and made up of no less than ten countries. send signals to their officials and peoples about those relations. The variety of those frameworks manifests the flexibility and pragmatism of ASEAN’s approach to its relations with others in the world. This would require closer political cohesion. The forums provide additional venues for the external powers not only to engage ASEAN but also to interact with each other bilaterally or in small groups. and indicate the direction of the partnerships in the future. ASEAN has to strengthen its capacity to provide the intellectual impetus for the process. Not least.

Chapter 6 Building a Community A senior officer at the ASEAN Secretariat once observed that people will really feel part of ASEAN when they are able to live and work or study freely anywhere in the region.” A French scholar asserts that her children consider themselves European as well as French. the truth lies in both assertions. a German and a European — all at the same time. the free movement of people should be and can only be a later phase 103 . Not surprisingly. as in the European Union. This is another way of saying that ASEAN is not yet a community in the sense that Europe is. Other observers of ASEAN have countered that the free movement of Southeast Asians to live and work or study anywhere in the region will be possible only when the consciousness of belonging to ASEAN has reached a certain level among its people. A German acquaintance of mine likes to say. “I am a Bavarian. A regional consciousness does not come at the expense of one’s national identity. Because of its social and political implications. A regional consciousness and a regional identity have to be relentlessly cultivated even as policies are evolved progressively to free up the movement of people around the region. Southeast Asia has not yet reached the stage at which its people can say and truly feel that they are Southeast Asians or people of ASEAN. The two propositions reinforce each other.

Not least. efficient and honest. the free flow of capital. the concrete measures of regional community building must first aim at the integration of the regional economy. selectively. reduce prices. of shared regional interests and mutual need. such a process would normally begin with the free movement of goods and services. It would thereby persuade the people in the region of the concrete benefits of regional community building. and thus hone the competitiveness of the region’s firms and workers. So would effective cooperation in dealing with regional problems.104 ASEAN in the process of regional economic integration. economic integration would both require and foster domestic policy and institutional reforms. The harmonization of product standards would require raising the quality of ASEAN goods and services. create jobs. Regional economic integration would call for significant improvements in certain services. foster competition. Then would come. in turn. and at the same time reinforce. Regional economic integration. . It would strengthen the bonds among them. As the European experience has demonstrated. increase the efficiency of production. It would give all participants a common stake in the region’s economic growth — and in regional peace and cooperation. Moreover. A preferential trading arrangement like the ASEAN Free Trade Area would not work unless customs procedures in the ASEAN countries were competent. necessarily gradual. Only in this way will an ASEAN community emerge and be built. An integrated regional economy is supposed to attract investments into the region. So would a realization. regional economic integration would require a significant measure of transparency and thus promote mutual confidence. lower transaction costs. would require. a resolve on the part of states and peoples to strive for good relations and develop mutual trust among them.

A culture of compliance has to develop within the association. the . not so much because of the financial aid given to them by the Union. Portugal and Spain in the 1980s — were able to launch their economic take-offs after their entry. fair competition. This would entail fostering competition in these sectors. while the tariff-cutting exercise on intra-ASEAN trade has been more or less on track. therefore. which would benefit both businesses and consumers. As noted in Chapter 3. inspire domestic policy and institutional reforms. Ireland in 1973 and Greece. protection of intellectual property rights. reduced corruption. an independent judiciary. Economic integration would attract investments into the region. consistent policies consistently applied. ASEAN as a region would not only lack credibility in investors’ eyes. of course. Compliance and its culture would presuppose the recognition of the value of regional stability. assumes that agreements on economic integration measures are complied with. In ASEAN’s case. as is sometimes claimed.Building a Community 105 like transportation and telecommunications. integration and cooperation for the national welfare. It should be noted that new entrants into the EU — for example. but the investments would go to those individual economies that have the elements of a good investment climate — the rule of law. and so on. They could do so largely because of the domestic reforms that they had to undertake by virtue of their EU membership as well as the larger markets opened to them. it would not gain the other benefits of regionalism described above. this. Participation in an integrated ASEAN economy should. This means that the member-states would be following through on their commitments with the necessary implementing agreements and domestic reforms. One thing is clear: Without a culture of compliance.

After almost 40 years of operating without a formal charter and with few binding agreements. According to the report. Compliance would. however. The ASEAN Charter is supposed. and the cooperative measures on communicable diseases. once it is ratified by all member-states. the charter itself is complied with.106 ASEAN follow-through on the other foundations of regional economic integration has been largely inadequate. to promote compliance with ASEAN commitments. among other purposes. the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution. at the summit of December 2005. relying largely on informal processes and personal relationships. but would apply to such commitments as those made in the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. other agreements on the environment. the EPG turned over its report to the ASEAN Summit in January 2007. the charter should codify the objectives and principles found in various ASEAN declarations and agreements. Among those norms were: • “Respect for and protection and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Beyond these. this assumes that. the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon-Free Zone treaty. not be limited to the economic undertakings. Chaired by Tun Musa Hitam. many of them having been embodied in the 2005 Kuala Lumpur Declarations on the Establishment of the ASEAN Charter. ASEAN. Most had to do with the relations among ASEAN countries and among states in general. Obviously. of course. … . decided to adopt an ASEAN Charter and to appoint an Eminent Persons Group (EPG) that would submit recommendations on its nature and contents. former Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia. they included certain norms for the behaviour of states towards their citizens.

… “Commitment to develop democracy. purposes that pertain to the conduct of countries’ internal affairs.Building a Community 107 • • • “Rejection of unconstitutional and undemocratic changes of government. religion or ethnicity”. The report reaffirms the creation of “a single market and production base” as one of ASEAN’s objectives and the “Fulfillment and implementation in good faith of all obligations and agreed commitments to ASEAN” as one of its principles. and discrimination based on gender. As drafted by a committee of senior government officials and signed by the ASEAN leaders at their November 2007 summit. in addition to those having to do with inter-state relations and regional cooperation. obligations and commitments with respect to regional economic integration. notably. and … promote and protect human rights and fundamental freedoms. Similarly. promote good governance and uphold human rights and the rule of law”. social welfare and justice”. enhance good governance and the rule of law. … “Rejection of acts of genocide. ethnic cleansing. with due regard to the rights and responsibilities of the Member States of ASEAN. These include: • “To strengthen democracy. torture. the charter lays down among ASEAN’s principles two that prescribe basic domestic policies for the memberstates: • . the use of rape as an instrument of war. the charter puts forward. race. it is presumed. … “ To enhance the well-being and livelihood of the peoples of ASEAN by providing them with equitable access to opportunities for human development.

agreements. the principles of democracy and constitutional government. spells out specific “actions” for carrying them out. The “blueprint” reiterates previous commitments to regional economic integration. and treaties as well as the norms and values adhered to by ASEAN”. the ASEAN leaders adopted a “blueprint” for achieving the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015. To make the member-states’ commitment to this goal and principle clear and firm. concords. principles. good governance. “for any serious breach by a Member State of the objectives. On the other hand. Among the causes for sanction would be defiance of a decision by an ASEAN dispute-settlement mechanism. In a bow to pragmatism and realism. and the promotion of social justice”. a formulation more specific than the EPG report’s. The EPG report prescribed the consideration of sanctions. and commitments as contained in the existing ASEAN declarations. adding a few new ones. and lays down deadlines for most of them. as one of its principles. The Secretary-General would be directed to report to the leaders “cases of non-compliance”. and as a result of inter-governmental negotiations. it .108 ASEAN • • “Adherence to the rule of law. the promotion and protection of human rights. “adherence to multilateral trade rules and ASEAN’s rules-based regimes for effective implementation of economic commitments and progressive reduction towards elimination of all barriers to regional economic integration”. “Respect for fundamental freedoms. The charter has the creation of “a single market and production base” as one of ASEAN’s goals and. the charter carries no reference to sanctions in the text as adopted. The recommendations specified the suspension of the “rights and privileges” of membership as a possible sanction. to be unanimously decided upon by the ASEAN leaders.

Building a Community 109 leaves it to the leaders collectively to decide on what action to take on any serious breach of the objectives and principles adopted in the document. ASEAN does not — charter or no charter — have an existence separate from that of its member-states. Anything that ASEAN does or becomes is the result of negotiations and common decisions by the member-states. and make more effective its institutions and processes — and subject it to rules more than it has been so subjected in the past. . Reaffirming the goal of a single market and specifying in greater detail the steps for achieving it would. develop a culture of compliance. domestic as well as inter-state — even in the general terms of the charter would project ASEAN as an association with standards. and provide members with agreed principles to invoke in case of egregious departures from them. In this way. and gradually inspire in their people a true sense of regional identity. derive lessons from its past experience. give ASEAN countries further impetus for carrying out those steps. and those who are thinking of withholding ratification from the charter for whatever reason would do well to remember that such an act would set back this progress. At most. Laying down norms of behaviour — internal as well as external. affirm what it stands for. Although the charter is meant to give ASEAN a legal personality. the charter can help ASEAN evolve. No document can do that for any association of sovereign states. All this would represent significant progress. as its members realize the commonality of their interests. reflect its present reality. unlikely their imposition might be. The very possibility of sanctions. would serve to put member-states’ feet to the fire. The fact is that the charter must not be expected to change ASEAN’s character overnight. it is hoped. the charter can embody the association’s aspirations for the future.

common interests in peace and stability. With the help of the charter. The charter can help. ASEAN has laid the foundations for regional economic integration. ASEAN’s future depends on how member-states succeed in this regard. Underlying all this would be the expansion of the scope of perceived common interests. ASEAN has recognized the necessity of cooperating in dealing with the growing number and complexity of regional problems. To improve its competitiveness in the markets of the world. in regional economic integration. and cooperation for common purposes. but the memberstates will individually have to ensure that the region remains stable and at peace in the future. . both of the public at large and of children in their formative years. This would require the patient and longterm endeavour of education. In the end.110 ASEAN ASEAN has so far succeeded in fostering peace and stability in Southeast Asia and contributing to the stability of East Asia and thus to global peace. it must now see to it that the member-states strengthen their and the association’s capacity to do so. The charter has to make possible a way to make sure that member-states comply with their commitments.

Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. Manila: Asian Development Bank. ed. 111 . Siddique. The ASEAN Reader. and Haze: The ASEAN Response Strategy. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat.References The ASEAN Charter. 2006. Sharon. 2001. Smoke. The 2nd ASEAN Reader. Report of the Eminent Persons Group on the ASEAN Charter. 2006. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 8 August 1967. Sandhu. Severino. 2003. ASEAN Declaration. et al. Vientiane Action Programme (VAP) 2004–10. Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. Qadri. 2004. and Sree Kumar. Southeast Asia in Search of an ASEAN Community. 1992. Tahir. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. 2006. Bangkok. Jakarta: ASEAN Secretariat. K. S. “Third ASEAN State of the Environment Report”. Fire. S. 24 February 1976. November 2007. Rodolfo C.

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