ASEAN Perspectives

Should the US patrol around China’s artificial islands?

By Andrew Chubb, UWA (Courtesy East Asia Forum) — The US defence establishment’s provocative plan to assert freedom of navigation by patrolling near China’s artificial islands in the South China Sea appears to have stalled. But if the United States abandons the policy it will forego an important opportunity to help stabilise Asia’s contested waters. In May, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter reportedly asked the US military to develop plans to send planes and ships within 12 nautical miles (nm) of China’s new […]

Malaysia’s troubles just beginning

By Andrew Harding, NUS (Courtesy East Asia Forum) — As it tussles with multiple crises of political legitimacy and governance, Malaysia has reached a decisive point in its more than half-century history as an independent nation. What started as a shocking but not exceptional scandal has turned into a political crisis of unprecedented proportions. This was underlined by the Bersih 4protests on 29–30 August in Kuala Lumpur, attended by an estimated 250,000 yellow-T-shirted Malaysians. First, it […]


MANILA – The Philippines and the European Union co-chaired an ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on “Raising awareness and promoting ARF cooperation on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risk mitigation” in Makati City, Metro Manila, on September 9 and 10, 2015. The workshop brought together 75 participants from the ASEAN member states, the European Union, Australia, Canada, China, India, Japan, Mongolia, New Zealand and the USA as well as the from the ASEAN Secretariat, the […]

APEC Finance Ministers launch Cebu Action Plan

  (Eagle News) —Finance Ministers of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) concluded the 22nd meeting by launching the Cebu Action Plan, a roadmap for a more sustainable financial future for the Asia-Pacific region. Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima said that the “Cebu Action Plan” (CAP) that was launched on Friday, Sept. 11 was the  “work of a region facing forward in steadfast cooperation amid complex challenges and opportunities.” “We hope the CAP emerges as the lasting […]

World Bank exec advises Asia-Pacific countries to invest in education to address inequality

(LAPU-LAPU CITY, Cebu) Asia Pacific countries should invest in education and social protection to address inequality within their economies and this includes the Philippines, a World Bank official said on Friday. In his message during the APEC Finance Ministers’ Meeting here, World Bank Vice President for East Asia and the Pacific, Axel van Trotsenburg, said most poor households rely on labor as their only source of income. Making labor productive through quality education and skills […]

Philippines’ position on South China Sea issue gaining support, says Palace official

AUGUST 7 — The Philippines is pleased that its position in the South China Sea issue is already gaining support from members of the international community with stakes in the maritime dispute, a Palace official said on Thursday. Countries calling on China to stop its reclamation work in the South China Sea are beginning to understand the current realities and they are responding in the most appropriate manner, Communication Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. said. “Kung […]

ASEAN makes united stand regarding Chinese land reclamation

KUALA Lumpur, Malaysia, August 5 (Eagle News) — The Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) expressed concerns regarding the continuing land reclamation of China in the disputed territories in West Philippine Sea. The ASEAN also added that China should stop said reclamation activities. China, on the other hand, refused to discuss the issue of territorial dispute in the said meeting. (Eagle News Service Jay Paul Carlos, Jericho Morales, MRFaith Bonalos)

An Introduction to the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015: Thinking Globally, Prospering Regionally

(Courtesy ASEAN Secretariat) — The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is envisioned to be the realization of ASEAN economic integration by 2015. To guide the establishment of the AEC 2015, the AEC Blueprint was adopted in 2012 and serves as a master plan by underlining a strategic schedule of priority actions to be undertaken by the ASEAN Member States. The establishment of the AEC 2015 is being pursued under four pillars. The first pillar envisions ASEAN […]

The politics of Asian integration

  By Seungjoo Lee, Chung-Ang University (Courtesy East Asia Forum) — Economic integration has steadily increased in East Asia. But the region still suffers from what South Korean President Park Geun-hye calls ‘Asia’s paradox’, the disconnect between economic interdependence and backward political and security cooperation. Any further economic integration will likely reflect political power shifts in the region.   Between 1990 and 2012, intra-regional trade among the ASEAN+3 nations increased from US$562 billion to US$4,436 billion. This represented […]

Phl full statement at the Hague – Del Rosario asks Int’l Tribunal to uphold “spirit of UNCLOS”

AS DELIVERED Statement Before the Permanent Court of Arbitration Peace Palace, The Hague, Netherlands WHY THE PHILIPPINES BROUGHT THIS CASE TO ARBITRATION AND ITS IMPORTANCE TO THE REGION AND THE WORLD Republic of the Philippines v. People’s Republic of China HON. ALBERT F. DEL ROSARIO Secretary of Foreign Affairs 07 July 2015 Mr. President, distinguished Members of the Tribunal, it is a great honor to respectfully appear before you on behalf of my country, the […]

The ASEAN Integration: A Philippine Perspective

(Eagle News) — The former deputy secretary general of the Association Of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)  Dr. Wilfrido Villacorta, talks about the ASEAN integration in this episode of ASEAN in Focus, a NET 25 program that focuses on the ASEAN region. Dr. Villacorta was the Philippine ambassador and permanent representative to the ASEAN from 2011-2012. He served as deputy secretary-general of the ASEAN from 2003 to 2006. He was a delegate to the 1986 Constitutional […]

Council conclusions on EU-ASEAN relations

BRUSSELS – The EU has a genuine strategic interest in strengthening its relationship with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), the major contributor for stability in the Asia-Pacific region. A strong and cohesive ASEAN proceeding with its own integration is beneficial for regional prosperity, stability and security, and creates new opportunities for cooperation on regional and global challenges. The Council welcomed the new momentum in EU-ASEAN relations and underlined the EU’s commitment to supporting […]