In this post I provide some brief ASEAN updates:
- The ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held without controversy in Naypyidaw. The South China Sea dispute was noted in the final communiqué, further evidencing that Myanmar is intent on having a drama-free year as ASEAN Chair and that there are limits to how far Cambodia will go in supporting China on this issue after its 2012 term as ASEAN Chair.
- Canada became the latest country to name a resident ambassador to ASEAN. This represents Canada’s increased recent focus on ASEAN.
- India indicated that it will draft a 5 year plan to boostties with ASEAN. Of course, the first major step would be to finally complete the services and investment sections of the ASEAN-India FTA, and before the RCEP talks conclude next year.
- Former ASEAN Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan urged the Thai junta to make decisions and policy related to the ASEAN Community on a faster basis. This comes after policy drift under the caretaker Yingluck government and the initial months of military rule. The Thai junta had reportedly tried – unsuccessfully -- to entice Dr. Surin to once again become Thailand’s foreign minister.