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Jakarta Post

News analysis: Wither the Community, arise East Asia rivalry

  • Meidyatama Suryodiningrat

    The Jakarta Post

Nusa Dua, Bali   /   Mon, November 21 2011   /  08:00 am

If Indonesia and ASEAN had any pretensions that its touted East Asia Community could manage a dynamic equilibrium in avoiding a dreaded Cold War-like rivalry of alliances, then such notions were thrown halfway out the window last week.

Sandwiched between two major summits, APEC in Honolulu and the East Asia Summit in Bali, US President Barack Obama’s formal announcement of heightened military presence through a Darwin military base is a marker for what could be a drawn-out era of intra-regional rivalry.

The US, Australia, the Philippines (and more timidly Singapore and India), on the one side, versus a rising China on the other. While most of Southeast Asia caught in the middle being dragged one way or another.

Washington is sticking to its long held motto of “places not bases”. So technically the US is “not” establishing a base in Darwin. But let us not ge...