Thursday 02 Apr 2020 | 21:07 | SYDNEY
Thursday 02 Apr 2020 | 21:07 | SYDNEY

ASEAN passing


Malcolm Cook

14 January 2009 13:01

Last week I wrote a post about how some in ASEAN circles did not welcome the Rudd Government’s Asia Pacific Community idea because they saw it as a threat to ASEAN's centrality.

It seems ASEAN’s role as the 'driving force' of East Asian regionalism may be under threat from within East Asia as well, as on 13 December last year the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea met for the first of what look like annual summits, with an agenda very similar to what is discussed at ASEAN-led regional meetings.

Donald Weatherbee, writing for the Pacific CSIS Forum, argues this trilateral summit of Northeast Asian major powers (South Korea’s economy is roughly the same size as ASEAN’s) may pose a real and present danger to ASEAN centrality, rather than the more speculative one emanating from the Asia Pacific Community idea.

However, while former Secretary General of ASEAN Rodolfo Severino laid into the Asia Pacific Community idea in Singapore’s Straits Times last week, this week, in the same subscription-only paper, he argues that ASEAN sees no threat from the trilateral meeting of Northeast Asian powers.