ASEAN Centrality in the Indo-Pacific Security Architecture
13 Jun 2022-pp 60-72
TL;DR: In this article , the authors explore the ASEAN centrality in the emerging debates on the regional security architecture in the Indo-Pacific and extrapolate the future challenges and likely scenarios.
Abstract: The development of the Indo-Pacific geopolitical construct has raised crucial questions on the role and relevance of the existing regional security and trade arrangements. In this context, the existing regional arrangements—such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that defines the very nature of regional multilateralism as well as the axis of various ASEAN-centric trade- and security-related forums—have been facing challenges due to an increase in the major powers’ contestations and their new alignments around the construct of the Indo-Pacific region. ASEAN, established in 1967, has since remained on the ‘driving seat’ for the region’s security and trade architecture but is now facing tough questions regarding its centrality in the emerging great power-driven regional cooperation milieu. The driving force for the organisation has been ASEAN’s unique normative discourse which remains embedded in much of Asia-Pacific regionalism. This normative leaning and ‘centrality’ have defined its credibility and capabilities, especially in the geopolitical flux since the end of the Cold War. While it has ensured that regional states continue to set the agenda without being overridden by major powers, it has also guaranteed that ASEAN’s decision will not hurt the core interest of major powers. All this began to change with the unprecedented rise of China as a significant power and the contestations between China and the US, as well as their partners and allies. In this context, this chapter seeks to explore the State of ASEAN ‘centrality’ in the emerging debates on the regional security architecture in the Indo-Pacific. It also examines the development of ASEAN’s normative culture and how it has responded to the changing context of the evolving major power-driven Indo-Pacific geopolitics. From there, it extrapolates the future challenges and likely scenarios for ASEAN’s regionalism in the Indo-Pacific.
TL;DR: In this paper , the authors investigated the interplay of IPEF between RCEP and CPTPP while at the same time examining the current debates and criticisms toward it, and analyzed IPEF's potential to foster a positive and prosperous economic environment that brings practical benefits to ASEAN.
Abstract: ASEAN has emerged as a significant player in the Indo-Pacific region, as evidenced by its active engagement in major multilateral arrangements such as the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), and the latest addition, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF). IPEF has involved 7 out of 10 ASEAN Member States (AMS) as the initial members, making it apparent that ASEAN’s significance and role cannot be overlooked in the economic and security architecture of the region. This paper aims to investigate the interplay of IPEF between RCEP and CPTPP while at the same time examining the current debates and criticisms toward it. We also analysed IPEF’s potential to foster a positive and prosperous economic environment that brings practical benefits to ASEAN. Despite IPEF being one of the interests among ASEAN policymakers, there has been insufficient discussion that systematically investigates the interplay of IPEF, RCEP, and CPTPP within ASEAN’s perspective, and the understanding of it seems to be limited. Thus, this paper is intended to contribute to the knowledge and nascent debate on the current geo-economic literature in the Indo-Pacific.
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Title for What is the continuation of ASEAN’s centrality in further regionalisation in the recently coined Indo-Pacific region?
The paper explores the state of ASEAN's centrality in the emerging debates on the regional security architecture in the Indo-Pacific.