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Jakarta Post

Philippines as ASEAN Chairman: Navigating uncharted territory

  • Wan Zain
    Wan Zain

    Alumnus of the National University of Malaysia

Jakarta   /   Thu, April 6, 2017   /  01:21 pm
Philippines as ASEAN Chairman: Navigating uncharted territory Filipinos react moments after the Hague-based UN international arbitration tribunal ruled in favor of the Philippines in its case against China on the dispute in South China Sea in Manila, Philippines. (AP/Bullit Marquez)

The chairmanship of ASEAN is rotated alphabetically. This has been the norm, or, standing order, in the region's diplomatic template since its inception in 1967.  But rules in ASEAN are occasionally observed in their breach, especially if Indonesia asked for the privilege to skip the order, as has happened before.  This year, the Philippines became the chair as a matter of routine, and will have to get all the member states, including the 12 dialogue partners, up to scratch on ASEAN Regional Forum, which will be held in June 2017, followed by the ASEAN  Summit and East Asian Summit at the end of 2017. This is a tall order in terms of logistics but also strategic language expected from the member states as well as key powers like the United States and China. First of all, President Rodrigo Duterte has the final say on the shape of the agenda. Would South China Sea...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.