21 JULY 2014
Asean calls for MH17 probe
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations has condemned the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine and called for an independent investigation into the catastrophe
1 JULY 2014
China and ASEAN’s Economic Integration: Developments & Opportunities
A collection of articles published by China Briefing on this topic
3 JUNE 2014
China-ASEAN Wage Comparisons and the 70 Percent Production Capacity Benchmark
As wage increases in China continue to rise – along with the comparatively high national welfare costs – increasing comment is being made as to the legitimacy of the “China Plus One” scenario. Coined some years ago, this theory – in reality, more of a shrewd observation – suggests that future manufacturing capacity will be placed both in China and externally in another location by the same manufacturer.
30 MAY 2014
Abe backs Asean position
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged on Friday to support Vietnam and the Philippines in their territorial disputes with China, saying the use of force and intimidation to change the status quo cannot be justified.
24 MAY 2014
Asean’s neutrality is its strength
12 MAY 2014
Asean fires warning shot across China’s bows
Southeast Asian leaders have expressed « serious concern » over worsening territorial disputes in the South China Sea, presenting a rare united front against an increasingly assertive Beijing.
11 MAY 2014
Sea row dominates Southeast Asian summit
Surging maritime tensions dominated a meeting of Southeast Asian leaders Sunday, with Vietnam calling on its regional neighbours for support in its worsening territorial dispute with China
10 MAY 2014
ASEAN FMs Urge Restraint in East China Sea Disputes
Foreign ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have expressed concern over escalating tensions in the South China Sea, where China has been involved in maritime disputes with Vietnam and the Philippines
5 MAY 2014
Asean centrality rests on peoples not leaders
As the global strategic landscape has undergone dramatic shifted, the much heralded Asean centrality is being challenged to the core. The most frequently asked questions these days are: Is there such thing as the Asean centrality? If so has Asean earned it?http://www.nationmultimedia.com/opinion/Asean-centrality-rests-on-peoples-not-leaders-30232855.html
25 APRIL 2014
Wake-up call for Asean nations
After almost 47 years of Asean’s existence, there are many who are inclined to believe that the region’s present peace and prosperity are the natural order of things. Delivering the 34th Singapore Lecture this week, Brunei Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah noted that the region’s strategic landscape would be influenced by changes in the relationship between emergent major and middle powers. Asean’s challenge would be to find its place in the new configuration
21 APRIL 2014
14 nations look to resolve regional boat people issue
In a two-day international workshop titled Special Conference on the Irregular Movement of People, at the Foreign Ministry on Monday and Tuesday, representatives are expected to establish measures to protect asylum seekers and prevent human trafficking and people smuggling in the region
28 FEBRUARY 2014
Asean winning Japan investments
More Japanese companies are choosing the Asean region over China as an investment destination as rising costs and concerns about the environment make Asia’s biggest economy less attractive, according to the Japan External Trade Organization.
24 JANUARY 2014
Asian countries talk up ASEAN at Davos meeting
The strength of ASEAN is at its greatest when members work together, Southeast Asian countries said on Friday at a panel discussing the future of the regional bloc amid ongoing territorial spats with China
17 JANUARY 2014
ASEAN Ministers Conclude First High-Level Meeting in Burma
ASEAN foreign ministers have concluded the first-ever high-level meeting hosted by Burma, also known as Myanmar, since the once-isolated country joined the grouping in 1997
15 JANUARY 2014
Will an Integrated ASEAN Region Challenge China?
China’s status as the global darling for foreign investment and trade is facing some competition these days from Southeast Asian nations that, while small, are forming an increasingly important economic bloc. Though the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations, or ASEAN, comprises a market of 610 million people — less than half the size of China’s — the bloc’s more affluent consumers are looking increasingly attractive, especially to Japanese companies wary of risks stemming from escalating territorial disputes with Beijing
11 JANUARY 2014
Philippines, Vietnam condemn China’s fishing law
The Philippines and Vietnam condemned a new Chinese law that requires foreign fishermen to seek Beijing’s approval to operate in much of the South China Sea, but China’s Foreign Ministry insisted it has the right do so. http://asiancorrespondent.com/118205/philippines-vietnam-condemn-chinas-fishing-law/
14 DECEMBER 2013
Japan, ASEAN Pledge Cooperation in Ensuring Freedom of Navigation
Leaders from Japan and 10 Southeast Asian countries have wrapped up a summit in Tokyo with a pledge to cooperate to ensure freedom of air and sea navigation.
13 DECEMBER 2013
Japan ‘to pledge $20 bn aid to Asean’
In a summit of Japan and 10 members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce 2 trillion yen ($20 billion) in loans and grants over five years, public broadcaster NHK and business daily Nikkei reported.
29 NOVEMBER 2013
Building ASEAN as a learning community
In October 2003, member states endorsed the ASEAN Concord II (Bali Concord II), which established a vision for economic integration through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). At the 2007 ASEAN Summit in Cebu, the deadline to establish the AEC was shortened from 2020 to 2015, underscoring the determination of ASEAN leaders to achieve this ambitious goal.
22 NOVEMBER 2013
ASEAN as pawn in great power game
Without a cohesive identity and clear future vision, ASEAN will risk strategic irrelevance and remain at the mercy of great power rivalry between China and the USA for regional influence
24 OCTOBER 2013
Beijing Unveils New Strategy for ASEAN–China Relations
ASEAN–China relations have improved dramatically over the past decade since the inking of their strategic partnership on August 29, 2003. Two-way trade increased more than six-fold over the last ten years to top $400 billion last year, while investments exceeded $100 billion during the same period
23 OCTOBER 2013
Vietnam’s role in ASEAN
Joining ASEAN had crucial social, political, economic and security implications for Vietnam. Vietnam’s membership of the grouping integrated its security with the whole of Southeast Asia and created a favourable environment for economic development. This, in turn, raised Vietnam’s global image, leading to increased cooperation with multiple players in the region and greater bargaining clout with super powers like the United States and China.
11 OCTOBER 2013
Wrap-up of the 23rd ASEAN Summit
The major achievements of the 23rd ASEAN Summit held this week in Brunei can be linked to what did and did not happen.
10 OCTOBER 2013
Myanmar takes Asean chair
Myanmar won a new diplomatic prize Thursday for its dramatic political reforms, taking the helm of Southeast Asia’s regional bloc despite warnings from some critics that the move was premature.
9 OCTOBER 2013
ASEAN summit gets under way in Brunei
Asian leaders are gathering in Brunei against a backdrop of divisive territorial disputes and flagging free trade efforts, with China taking expected to take on a prominent role in the absence of US President Barack Obama.
18 SEPTEMBER 2013
Asean is not yet ready for integration, Mahathir says
Singapore is the onlymember that will be completely ready for economic integration under the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) by 2015, and some of the group’s poorer members should be allowed to retain their economic protections, former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday
4 SEPTEMBER 2013
‘Diamond decade’ ahead for China, Asean
Trade and investment between China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are expected to more than double by 2020, Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday.These goals are part of what the premier calls a « diamond decade » of relations the two must strive to achieve. Trade is expected to reach US$1 trillion in 2020, compared with $400 billion last year, Li said at the 10th China-Asean Expo, which opened on Tuesday in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region
20 AUGUST 2013
US firms doubt AEC single market goal
Two leading American business groups Tuesday said US firms operating in Asean countries are sceptical the regional bloc can meet a 2015 deadline to establish a single market.
14 AUGUST 2013
ASEAN vows unity on South China Sea: Thai official
Southeast Asian nations on Wednesday vowed unity in pressing China to accept a binding code of conduct for handling disputes in the South China Sea, the Thai foreign ministry said.
12 JULY 2013
ASEAN: between China and America
Where is ASEAN going right now? Cambodia had a difficult year as ASEAN Chair in 2012, struggling with unfortunate regional tension on the issue of South China Sea, which resulted in ASEAN’s disunity for the first time in 45 years. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/07/12/asean-between-china-and-america/
4 JULY 2013
China Agrees to Discuss ‘Code of Conduct’ Rules
This week the Association of Southeast Asian Nations appeared to make progress on addressing territorial disputes in the South China Sea. Following meetings in Brunei, the group announced that China had agreed to discuss a set of rules known as the “code of conduct” to avoid conflict in the disputed waters http://www.voanews.com/content/asean-south-china-sea-dispute-heads-to-beijing-for-talks/1694932.html http://www.asianewsnet.net/Koreas-to-meet-on-Gaeseong-48803.html
2 JULY 2013
China and its Neighbors
In recent years China’s claims in the South China Sea have provoked much regional tension with the Philippines and Vietnam, although while the Philippines and Vietnam also have conflicting claims between each other over most of the Spratly Islands, there has not been much tension between these two nations. Malaysia and Brunei, despite being also parties to the Spratlys dispute, have been keeping a low profile. http://asiasentinel.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=5539&Itemid=171
24 JUNE 2013
Southeast Asia : The next crisis ?
Southeast Asia, so long a byway of the world economy, has become a well-worn path for foreign investors seeking refuge from the continuing after-effects of the global financial crisis. They have come because the region has been surging ahead over the last few years, even as the West slumped, China readjusted and India stuttered. http://thediplomat.com/2013/06/24/southeast-asia-the-next-crisis/3/?all=true&goback=.gde_1972950_member_252658355
14 JUNE 2013
US investment shifts to ASEAN
As China and India begin to lose luster, private investors are increasingly setting their gaze on the diverse and rapidly growing countries of ASEAN. For US businesses, the shift has become especially palpable. http://investvine.com/us-investment-shifts-to-asean/?goback=%2Egde_1972950_member_250373070
2 JUNE 2013
How indigenous people are turned off their lands
Hundreds of thousands in Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand are said to have been displaced http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/02/indigenous-people-turned-off-land
23 MAY 2013
China and its Southeast Asian neighbours need more strategic capital
Early this year, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited the ASEAN Secretariat and four ASEAN member countries to strengthen mutual understanding and strategic trust, and show support for ASEAN community building. Chinese Defence Minister Chang Wanquan also visited Brunei and held a consultative meeting with the 10 ASEAN Defence Ministers on the sideline of the seventh ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting to exchange views on regional security issues and discuss measures to reduce tensions in the region, particularly in the South China Sea. Yet there is still a long way to go before a true partnership between ASEAN and China can take hold, with greater investments in strategic trust required. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/05/23/china-and-its-southeast-asian-neighbours-need-more-strategic-capital/
29 APRIL 2013
Wrap-up of the 22nd ASEAN Summit
Last week the ASEAN Summit and its associated preparatory meetings took place in Brunei. Here are a few developments related to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) http://aseanec.blogspot.fr/2013/04/wrap-up-of-22nd-asean-summit.html?goback=.gde_2343547_member_236423857
15 APRIL 2013
Singapore and the US: an extraordinary relationship’ get closer
While Julia Gillard was preparing for her high-profile visit to China, less noticed by the Australian media was a visit to the United States from 1 to 4 April by Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. Lee took a senior delegation of ministers and officials and was afforded excellent access: a meeting with President Obama, and calls with the Secretaries of State, Defense and Treasury among others. As Obama put it in his remarks to the media during Lee’s call, the US has an ‘extraordinary relationship’ with Singapore: ‘We have extremely close military cooperation. And I want to thank Singapore for all the facilities that they provide that allow us to maintain our effective Pacific presence.’ http://www.aspistrategist.org.au/singapore-and-the-us-an-extraordinary-relationship-gets-closer/
26 MARCH 2013
Religion, race and politics: ASEAN’s Gordian knot
It’s time for ASEAN to play a constructive role in tackling religious and racial tensions across the region. http://thediplomat.com/2013/03/26/religion-race-and-politics-aseans-gordian-knot/
22 MACH 2013
On the fast track to a Singapore–Malaysia economic union?
The recent announcement of a high-speed rail link between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, with a commute of only 90 minutes, has raised the prospect of closer economic integration between the two cities. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/03/22/on-the-fast-track-to-a-singapore-malaysia-economic-union/
17 MARCH 2013
Warming ties between Malaysia and Singapore
Suffice it to say that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong have continuously demonstrated their commitment to building good neighbourly ties between the nations that they are leading. http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Business/Story/A1Story20130317-409239.html
13 MARCH 2013
Japan seeks defence ties with ASEAN amid China rows
Japan on Wednesday 13 March called for stronger security ties with Southeast Asia as Tokyo looks to boost alliances at a time of growing territorial tensions with China http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1259652/1/.html
10 MARCH 2013
Funding tertiary education in Southeast Asia and beyond
In recent decades Southeast Asian countries have simultaneously enjoyed rapid economic growth and a significant expansion of the higher education sector. But many countries in the region are finding it difficult to pay for this expansion of their universities. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/03/10/funding-tertiary-education-in-southeast-asia-and-beyond/
5 MARCH 2013
Countering Maritime Piracy and Robbery in Southeast Asia: The Role of the ReCAAP Agreement (see PDF)
22 FEBRUARY 2013
ASEAN’s great power dilemma
Since the end of the Cold War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has engaged the outside world to play an active security role within greater East Asia. In 1994, ASEAN created the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), at which regional powers such as the United States, Japan, and China meet annually to discuss security issues in the region and beyond http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/SEA-01-220213.html
20 FEBRUARY 2013
Malaysia-Singapore Political Obstacle Removed, but Still No Full Implementation of the AFAGIT
Yesterday Singapore’s and Malaysia’s prime ministers announced plans to build a high-speed rail link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. This is just the latest progress in improving cross-straits relations. Hopefully, this will help lead to ending the long delay in full implementation of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Goods in Transit (AFAGIT), a key but low-profile aspect of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). http://aseanec.blogspot.sg/2013/02/malaysia-singapore-political-obstacle.html
6 FEBRUARY 2013
Sombath Case a ‘Blow’ to ASEAN
The “forced disappearance” of Lao activist Sombath Somphone is a blow to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), rights groups said Tuesday, as members of parliament across Asia and Europe urged the Laotian Prime minister to order an “urgent” investigation into his case http://www.rfa.org/english/news/laos/sombath-02062013164521.html
18 JANUARY 2013
ASEAN dogged by rights concerns
As senior diplomat Le Luong Minh officially assumed the post of ASEAN Secretary-General about a week ago, a court in his home country Vietnam was sending more than a dozen peaceful activists to jail in the largest trial of its kind in the one-party communist state. http://www.rfa.org/english/east-asia-beat/rights-01182013210700.html
13 JANURY 2013
Challenging ASEAN: the American pivot in Southeast Asia
As much as China is front and centre for the United States and Asia, the American pivot is not all about the dragon. It is also very much about the 10 member states of ASEAN. http://www.eastasiaforum.org/2013/01/13/challenging-asean-the-american-pivot-in-southeast-asia/
9 JANUARY 2013
ASEAN seeks talks with Beijing to settle South China Sea disputes
This is the aim of the organisation’s new secretary general, Vietnam’s Le Luong Minh, who wants a new round of discussions to reach a global code of conduct. Rules on navigation and borders are not only a regional issue, but something vital for everyone http://www.asianews.it/news-en/ASEAN-seeks-talks-with-Beijing-to-settle-South-China-Sea-disputes-26816.html
7 JANURY 2013
Brunei to hasten Asean integration
« Brunei’s ASEAN chairmanship in 2013 will be very important in ensuring the ASEAN Community meets its 2015 deadline, and I am confident that Brunei is capable of taking the role as chair », said executive director of the Centre for Strategic and Policy Studies Dato Paduka Dr Hj Ismail Hj Duraman. http://www.bt.com.bn/news-national/2013/01/03/brunei-hasten-asean-integration
20 DECEMBER 2012
ASEAN-India ties boosted by FTA conclusion
Twenty years of ASEAN-India ties received a boost in New Delhi on Thursday 20 with the announcement that the much-awaited ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been concluded, after discussions on the investment and services chapters were completed http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southasia/view/1243743/1/.html
17 DECEMBER 2012
ASEAN’s Time to Invest in Timor-Leste
As Brunei assumes ASEAN’s chairmanship for 2013, one major question it faces is Timor-Leste’s bid for membership in the group. Despite some ASEAN members’ previous resistance to Timor-Leste’s entrance, the country’s sustained political and economic development over the last year and a half reflect a maturing nation poised for ascension to ASEAN. Brunei has a genuine opportunity to build ASEAN’s inclusiveness and invest in a nation that will pay dividends in the future.
4 DECEMBER 2012
Le Luong Minh, the new Asean General Secretary
Vietnam nominated Minh to succeed former Thailand foreign minister Dr. Surin Pitsuwan to be the next secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for the term 2013-2017. The secretary general role holds ministerial rank, and rotates among ASEAN countries in alphabetical order.
23 NOVEMBER 2012
US and China vie for influence in SE Asia
When Air Force One touched down in Cambodia this week, Barack Obama became the first US president to visit the country. But during his trip, part of a US attempt to “rebalance” towards Asia, Mr Obama bumped up against a rival power
20 NOVEMBER 2012
No Asean unity in sea row with China
Leaders of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) decided on Sunday to ask China to start formal talks “as soon as possible” on crafting a legally binding code of conduct in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) aimed at preventing violence over disputed territories
18 NOVEMBER 2012
Leaders at ASEAN summit sign human rights declaration
Southeast Asian leaders endorsed a controversial human rights pact on Sunday during an annual summit in which they also focused on bruising territorial rows and deadly unrest in Myanmar. Heads of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) hailed their declaration on human rights as a landmark agreement that would help protect the region’s 600 million people http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/1237958/1/.html http://www.voanews.com/content/asean-summit-opens-in-phnom-penh/1548305.html
17 NOVEMBER 2012
ASEAN’s democracy deficit and the protection of human rights
The first-of-its-kind ‘ASEAN Human Rights Declaration’ will be adopted at the ASEAN Summit in November this year.
24 OCTOBER 2012
Free Speech and the Battle for ASEAN
In the last decade, several of ASEAN’s member countries recognized the need for greater regional integration to confront the challenges of the 21st century. They convinced their fellow members to go along, resulting in the 2007 ASEAN Charter and the announcement of the ASEAN Political-Security Community to be established in 2015. The goal of both is the promotion of greater political integration based upon shared values of human rights, rule of law, and democracy. Unfortunately, diverging trends in freedom of expression within ASEAN signal trouble for the fast-approaching 2015 deadline.
17 OCTOBER 1012
The defence of narrow seas in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asian states are trying to build up toward an unprecedented level of naval modernisation as tensions in the South China Sea test their abilities to find diplomatic solutions to their territorial disputes.
12 OCTOBER 2012
ASEAN: regional stabiliser in Southeast and East Asia?
On 8 August 2012 ASEAN celebrated its 45th year. As a mature regional economic organisation, ASEAN can act as a potential stabiliser in Southeast and East Asia. ASEAN’s internal developments affect developments in the East Asian region, so the association stands to consolidate this influence by promoting the resolution of the South China Sea issue and supporting Myanmar’s transition to democracy and economic development.
22 SEPTEMBER 2012
China Mends Fences in Sea Dispute
Following much prodding and diplomacy, China appears to be showing some flexibility in its approach towards drawing up a code of conduct with the Southeast Asian nations aimed at avoiding clashes over competing territorial claims in the vast sea, diplomats in the region told RFA
21 SEPTEMBER 2012
Experts paint gloomy picture on South China Sea conflict
As China’s military power grows, the potential for conflicts between members of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) may increase, and finding solutions within the grouping could become more difficult, experts have said
4 SEPTEMBER 2012
Clinton calls for ASEAN unity on S China Sea
28 AUGUST 2012
ASEAN ministers vow to narrow gap among nations
ASEAN’s economic meeting pledged on Tuesday 28 to support the association’s new members in order to narrow development gaps between the member countries.
8 AUGUST 2012
The end of ASEAN centrality?
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) suffered a major loss of face, at least in the perceptions of some international media and academic experts, owing to its failure to issue its customary joint communique at its last ministerial meeting (ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, or the AMM) in Cambodia held during July 9-13.
18 JULY 2012
Indonesia steps in to mediate South China sea dispute
Appealing for calm over the South China Sea disputes, Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has dispatched his foreign minister to several Asean capitals to search for a consensus on the way forward to deal with the issue, particularly with China.
Cambodia, Thailand pull troops from temple flashpoint
Cambodia and Thailand pulled hundreds of soldiers out of a disputed border area on Wednesday, a year after a ruling by the UN’s highest court, replacing them with police and security guards.The International Court of Justice (ICJ) on July 18 last year ordered the neighbours to demilitarise a strip of land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple which was the scene of deadly clashes in 2011 http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/view/1214288/1/.html http://www.rfa.org/english/video?param=value&storyId=Cambodia-Preah-Vihear http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/07/201271845840265105.html
17 JULY 2012
Why there’s no Asean joint communiqué
I am sharing this article with the Filipino people to inform them of the real state of the discussions during the 45th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh on July 9. I was present during the discussions in the different sessions.
13 JULY 2012
ASEAN talks fail over South China Sea dispute
Days of heated diplomacy at Southeast Asian talks have ended in failure, as deep splits over China prevented the ASEAN grouping from issuing its customary joint statement for the first time. http://www.aljazeera.com/news/asia-pacific/2012/07/201271381350228798.html http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/13/world/asia/asian-leaders-fail-to-resolve-disputes-on-south-china-sea-during-asean-summit.html?_r=1&ref=asia
1 JUNE 2012
Experts make strong case for Asean integration
Despite the painful lessons from Europe, Asean nations are moving towards integration as a way to boost regional resilience against external shocks
5 MAY 2012
Asean seen as economic growth force by 2015
The Southeast Asian region, with an estimated population of 600 million, is anticipated to join the ranks of China and India as a major economic growth force in Asia should its constituent countries succeed in integrating their economies by 2015
3 APRIL 2012
ASEAN strengthens regional cooperation against human trafficking
Senior officials from the ASEAN member states came together yesterday April 3 to strengthen ties in the fight against regional human trafficking
3 APRIL 2012
Asean calls for Burma sanctions to be lifted
Leaders of the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean), meeting in Cambodia, have called for economic sanctions against Burma to be lifted