Jun 2, 2014

On ASEAN and South China Sea and Shangri-La Dialogue

Dr. John Lee, an Adjunct Professor at the University of Sydney, shared his view about ASEAN and the South China Sea issues reflected in the Shangri-La Dialogue.

He said:

This then has always been the stark reality for ASEAN: that it retains influence and relevance as a regional strategic organization only if it is useful to the great powers. China seems glad about ASEAN's paralysis, but not yet its demise since paralysis actually serves Beijing's interest.

He suggested:

For ASEAN to play such roles, it would have to abandoning its cherished convention of decision-making by consensus or unanimity, and perhaps allow decision-making through agreement by a quorum of seven or eight member states. Such a change would initially be resisted by many members. But the alternative is paralysis, irrelevance, and continued Chinese manipulation of the organization. And this will do nothing for the five member states and their contested claims in the South China Sea.

Shangri-La Dialogue: Making ASEAN Relevant | The Diplomat


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