ASEAN’s Role in Preventing Conflict in the East Sea (Bien Dong)
Keywords:East Sea Dispute - ASEAN Solution
ASEAN’s main ambition and goal since establishment has been to create a environment of peace and stability in Southeast Asia to help its member countries maintain independence, sovereignty and develop in a sustainable manner. This has been manifested in most of ASEAN’s documents, especially the ASEAN Charter that has been brought to life since December 2008. Moreover, the prevention, mediation and management of conflict is one of the main components of the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC), one of the 3 main pillars that the grouping is determined to realize by the end of 2015. Thus, participating in resolving disputes and conflicts in the East Sea is part of ASEAN's agenda and is a responsibility and in the interest of the Association. Moreover, the disputes in interests in the East Sea in the recent years have been pushed to a relatively serious level, increasing the intervention of the countries outside of ASEAN and of its members. This trend is deeply affecting the regional environment of peace and cooperation in the region, changing the perception and strategic actions of many countries, including arms races and rallying of forces to adapt to the volatility in the region.
This paper focuses on 3 main points: 1) Why should ASEAN participate in resolving disputes in the East Sea; 2) ASEAN’s participation - successes and drawbacks; 3) What should ASEAN continue to do to exert itself as the center and catalyst for the mediation escalating disputes in the maritime region.
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