ASEAN summit has made limited progress on security issues

Politics China Indonesia Myanmar Country Analysis


What happened?

World leaders gathered in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta on September 5-7 for the annual Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit and East Asia Summit. The summit made little progress on disputes over the South China Sea and the humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

Why is it important?

The summit achieved significant progress in areas of economic cooperation, particularly in areas such as sustainability and digitization. Consensus to build an electric vehicle (EV) ecosystem is notable among ASEAN leaders and their East Asian counterparts, including China, South Korea and Japan. The agreement will support the EV uptake and supply chain in ASEAN by leveraging the complementary strengths of the two regions. While East Asian countries can contribute technical expertise such as EV battery production, ASEAN countries provide essential resources such as nickel, cost-effective labor and well-established infrastructure for vehicle assembly.

The summit failed to make much progress on issues related to the South China Sea Code of Conduct (COC), the legal framework governing engagements in the area. The issue was further complicated by China’s release of a new territorial map a week before the summit, claiming sovereignty over a large swath of the South China Sea and the absence of Chinese President Xi Jinping. At the ASEAN Summit. The map was quickly rejected by Malaysia, India and the Philippines. As China has deep economic ties with ASEAN countries, the EIU expects discussions around the COC with limited opportunities to resolve outstanding disputes.

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The summit did not make progress in implementing the five-point consensus on Myanmar. However, the ASEAN Forum has adopted a „tripartite” approach to ASEAN’s Special Envoy for Myanmar, in which the current ASEAN Chair will be supported by past and incoming chairs to ensure continued engagement with the Myanmar regime. The establishment of this mechanism signals that the Myanmar conflict will continue for a long time. We expect this arrangement to be timely with a comprehensive plan for coordinated action between Indonesia, Laos (chairmanship in 2024) and Malaysia (2025).

What next?

The focus on Indonesia’s ASEAN chairmanship, which will last until the end of 2023, will gradually wane as the country prepares for presidential elections in 2024. Laos will assume the ASEAN chairmanship on January 1, 2024, continuing to focus on economic issues. , geopolitical debates The South China Sea debates are likely to continue.

Analysis and forecasts in this area can be found at EIU Country analysis Service. This integrated solution provides unparalleled global insights covering the political and economic outlook for nearly 200 countries, helping companies identify future opportunities and potential risks.

Politics China Indonesia Myanmar Country Analysis

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