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Jakarta Post

ASEAN a success story of integration

Jakarta   /   Fri, July 21, 2017   /  01:23 pm
ASEAN a success story of integration If ASEAN fails to maintain unity and diversity, Southeast Asia could become another proxy ground for major powers. (Shutterstock/File)

No one believed that ASEAN would survive after 50 years. There was much pessimism about ASEAN for many reasons. Almost every member country has its story of conflicts with one another. This is a region of diversity: There are differences in economic progress, political systems, ideology, culture, geographical size and religions. Some even predicted that because of its diversity, Southeast Asia would become the “Balkans of Asia.” This prediction has not materialized. Instead, ASEAN has become an engine of peace and stability in Southeast Asia. The question is: What makes this positive story possible? First, ASEAN has its own way of thinking or, as we like to call it, the ASEAN way. ASEAN has adopted a habit of dialogue, consensus, inclusivity, informality, respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in the internal affairs of one another, peace...

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