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Jakarta Post

The relevance of ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific amid COVID-19

  • Abdul Kadir Jaelani

    Ottawa

Ottawa   /   Sat, October 24 2020   /  01:00 am
Get ready: Contingents from participating nations form up for the opening ceremony of the ASEAN-China Maritime Field Training Exercise in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, China, on Monday.(The Straits Times/ANN/Lianhe Zaobao)

The COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding to be the biggest shock to global politics and the economy. It has created formidable challenges and a high degree of uncertainty, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region. Does this new dynamics make the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) less relevant to meet the current challenges? The answer is indeed the opposite. The call for operationalizing the AOIP as a robust strategic guidance for ASEAN countries in response to the geopolitical and strategic changes caused by the pandemic is increasingly more pertinent. Mitigation of the impact of the pandemic does not mean the end of geopolitical competition; it will be a new arena in which a great power competition will play out. Consequently, the pandemic has accelerated the existing geopolitical trend in the region. The Sino-United States rivalry is rapidly escalating after both superpowers ...