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Jakarta Post

ASEAN bickering on Indo-Pacific ‘uninspiring’

  • Dian Septiari and Agnes Anya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, June 21, 2019   /  10:18 am
ASEAN bickering on Indo-Pacific ‘uninspiring’ Flags of many colors: A security officer stands guard during the preparations for the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok on Wednesday. (Reuters/Soe Zeya Tun)

In the run up to a planned adoption of ASEAN’s common Indo-Pacific outlook this weekend, experts have said that an apparent crack in the bloc’s unity over the concept has raised doubts about the relevance of the concept’s substance. ASEAN leaders are set to convene in Bangkok this week for the 34th ASEAN Summit, which will focus on issues relevant to the region, including finding a common approach on the Indo-Pacific. Last week, however, a diplomat familiar with the issue revealed that the expected conclusion of the ASEAN concept paper might be delayed because Singapore has yet to endorse it, throwing the adoption plan into disarray. Asked for comment on its reluctance to endorse the concept, Singapore’s Mission to ASEAN merely said it supported “any regional initiative that preserves ASEAN centrality and unity, advances economic engagement of our r...