ASEAN

  • Partnerships

    Southeast Asian nations strengthen regional unity

    FORUM Staff Southeast Asian nations are increasingly willing to act on issues requiring collective defense and cooperation, as evidenced by the mid-January 2024 talks in Hanoi between Vietnamese President Vo Van Thuong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on strengthening joint maritime security and commerce. The leaders “reaffirmed the importance of peace, stability … and freedom of navigation” in the contested…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    ASEAN demonstrates solidarity as PRC drags feet on South China Sea code of conduct

    FORUM Staff Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) members are reinforcing partnerships that uphold stability in the South China Sea. Recent diplomatic efforts come as an increasingly aggressive People’s Republic of China (PRC) claims decadeslong talks on a code of conduct (COC) for the crucial waterway are “going smoothly.” Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. met…

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  • Conflicts - Tensions

    Japan, Malaysia sign maritime security assistance deal

    Reuters Japan and Malaysia signed a security assistance deal in mid-December 2023, including a $2.8 million grant to boost Kuala Lumpur’s maritime security, as nations seek to counter an increasingly assertive People’s Republic of China (PRC). Japan will provide rescue boats, equipment and other supplies under the deal signed on the sidelines of a Tokyo summit marking 50 years of…

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  • Conflicts - Tensions

    Japan, ASEAN bolster ties at summit focused on security, economy amid tensions with Beijing

    The Associated Press Leaders from Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), at a special summit in Tokyo in mid-December 2023, adopted a joint vision that emphasizes security and economic cooperation while respecting the rule of law. Ties between Japan and the 10-member ASEAN traditionally were based on Japanese assistance to the developing economies, but in recent years the relationship…

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  • Partnerships

    ASEAN defense ministers advocate regional stability, security

    Gusty Da Costa Promoting stability through multilateral defense diplomacy during heightened regional tensions was a focus of Southeast Asian defense leaders and counterparts from elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific during the 10th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus, or ADMM-Plus, in Jakarta, Indonesia, in November 2023. Defense ministers from nine of the 10 ASEAN countries participated, along…

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  • Partnerships

    Indonesia, Vietnam strengthen defense cooperation as PRC’s maritime aggression persists

    Gusty Da Costa Indonesia and Vietnam are moving closer to upgrading their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership as indicated by their leaders’ September 2023 meeting and the nations’ third Defense Policy Dialogue a month later. The nations are enhancing defense cooperation in particular, according to officials and experts. The two countries, members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations…

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  • Partnerships

    Indonesia committed to nuclear-free ASEAN, global disarmament

    Tom Abke The Indonesian government is using diplomatic channels to promote the goals of keeping the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) free of nuclear weapons and ultimately eliminating such weapons from the world’s arsenals. The efforts come against a backdrop of nuclear weapons buildups by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and North Korea and Russia’s threats to use…

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  • Free and Open Indo-Pacific/FOIP

    Philippines bolstering defense ties to counter PRC’s South China Sea threats

    Maria T. Reyes The threat posed by the People’s Republic of China (PRC), whether its violations of international law in the South China Sea or the looming possibility of an invasion of self-governed Taiwan, has become a central consideration for the Philippines’ defense policy and security partners. This applies to the Philippines’ membership in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations…

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  • Northeast Asia

    Japan’s regional diplomacy forging stability amid rising tensions

    Marc Jacob Prosser Japan’s soft power efforts to promote stability are renowned throughout the Indo-Pacific, including Tokyo’s central role in regional defense diplomacy and forums. Rising tensions have underscored the importance of such efforts in maintaining lines of communication. The Japanese government’s new defense white paper designates the People’s Republic of China (PRC) as the “greatest strategic challenge,” condemns Russia’s…

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  • Partnerships

    Indonesia’s ASEAN presidency prioritizes unified defense approach

    Gusty Da Costa Nine months into its yearlong presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Indonesia is leading the 10-member group to advance a unified and strategically defined defense agenda, according to officials and experts. This includes launching the inaugural ASEAN-only defense exercise and introducing measures to strengthen ASEAN centrality in the defense arena and enhance cooperation with…

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