ASEAN and the new geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific

Author: Amitav Acharya, American University Southeast Asia is no stranger to strategic competition. But its ‘new geopolitics’ is different from those that existed during the Cold War. In fighting communism, the United States extended its security umbrella to the region. This gave ASEAN members breathing space and allowed them to focus on economic growth and domestic stability. It also stimulated unity among Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines due to fear of being entangled in great power intervention. Aid and investment from Japan, a US ally and Asia’s then fastest rising economy, helped industrialise several Southeast Asian countries. Now,…

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