2022 State of Southeast Asia Survey: Diverse Perspectives and Hard Realities




The US has gained ground against China in the contest for regional influence in Southeast Asia, according to the latest State of Southeast Asia Survey. ASEAN continues to be seen as ineffective in the eyes of respondents; at the same time, they are willing to give it credit when it is due.

The United States is gaining significant ground against China in the battle to win friends and influence countries, with respondents across Southeast Asia confident that Washington would be able to lead on issues such as championing free trade and upholding the rules-based regional order. 

A fresh reading of The State of Southeast Asia Survey also showed that pressing issues — the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment and economic retraction as well as climate change – continue to be prioritised by respondents. In their view, however, ASEAN is seen as too slow and ineffective to cope with rapid developments.

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ASEAN and the new geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific

29 December 2021 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.

China Premier Li Keqiang attends Southeast Asian leaders virtual summit Tuesday 26 October 2021 without Myanmar military leader Min Aung Hlaing after its top general failure of Myanmar's army to adhere to a peace road map it had agreed with the southeast Asian bloc following the coup in February.

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, China has displaced Japan as Asia’s largest economy and ASEAN’s largest trade partner. China’s GDP today is more than five times that of ASEAN’s combined. It spends five times more on defence. Unlike the Soviet Union, China is Southeast Asia’s immediate neighbour — a dragon breathing down its neck.

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Nhiều nước lên tiếng về Biển Đông tại diễn đàn an ninh khu vực

Sáng nay (8/7), tại Hà Nội, Bộ Quốc phòng tổ chức hội nghị trực tuyến Chính sách an ninh Diễn đàn khu vực ASEAN (ASPC). Thượng tướng Nguyễn Chí Vịnh, Thứ trưởng Bộ Quốc phòng, Trưởng SOM Việt Nam chủ trì.

Tham gia hội nghị có đại diện 26 nước đối tác trong khuôn khổ ARF, ban thư ký ASEAN. Tiếp tục đọc “Nhiều nước lên tiếng về Biển Đông tại diễn đàn an ninh khu vực”

East Vietnam Sea issue brought up during ASEAN defense minister meeting

ASEAN member nations should continue intensifying cooperation, sharing information about the sea situation, and abiding by international law

​East Vietnam Sea issue brought up during ASEAN defense minister meeting
Top diplomats meet at the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat (AMM Retreat) in Singapore on February 6, 2018. Photo: Vietnam News Agency

Vietnam has mentioned the situation in the East Vietnam Sea during a special meeting between ASEAN officials in Singapore this week.

The ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting (ADMM) Retreat was organized in the city-state on Tuesday, the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Authorized by General Ngo Xuan Lich, Vietnam’s Minister of National Defense, Senior Lieutenant General Nguyen Chi Vinh, his deputy, led a delegation of high-ranking officials to attend the meeting. Tiếp tục đọc “East Vietnam Sea issue brought up during ASEAN defense minister meeting”