- Published: November 20, 2022
- Updated: November 20, 2022
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ASEAN I. ASEAN Background By the end of the twentieth century, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was experiencing growing pains. The organization had changed vastly since its inception in 8 August 1967, when it served as a political bulwark against the Cold War superpowers in order to protect the independence of its founding member states–Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Thailand. Brunei Darussalam then joined on 7 January 1984, Viet Nam on 28 July 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar on 23 July 1997, and Cambodia on 30 April 1999, making up what is today the ten Member States of ASEAN. Moreover, the area of ASEAN is 4, 5million sq kms (3% of the total land area of Earth). For population, ASEAN have 601 million people (8, 8% of the world population. Political system is liberal, Islamic and socialist systems. GDP are US$ 1, 800 billion- per capital $2, 995 (in 2010). NOTE that, if ASEAN becomes a single market, it will ranks as the 9th largest economy in the world. Additional, the purpose that ASEAN established are because of those severs reasons: 1. To accelerate the economic growth, social progress and cultural development in the region through joint endeavors in the spirit of equality and partnership in order to strengthen the foundation for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations; 2. To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law in the relationship among countries of the region and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter; 3. To promote active collaboration and mutual assistance on matters of common interest in the economic, social, cultural, technical, scientific and administrative fields; 4. To provide assistance to each other in the form of training and research facilities in the educational, professional, technical and administrative spheres; 5. To collaborate more effectively for the greater utilization of their agriculture and industries, the expansion of their trade, including the study of the problems of international commodity trade, the improvement of their transportation and communications facilities and the raising of the living standards of their peoples; 6. To promote Southeast Asian studies; and 7. To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organizations with similar aims and purposes, and explore all avenues for even closer cooperation among themselves. II. ASEAN government and Politic a. Political party system In the ASEAN political system, there have 6 type systems that they are going to practices. First is, one party system, which is single party that controls every level of government and is the only legal party. It’s associated with authoritarian regimes (Vietnam, Laos, China…). Second, Dominant party systems, which is many parties contest in elections, but there is only one party always wins (Cambodia, Singapore, Malaysia…). Third, Two party systems, which is two parties take turn in winning the election (US, UK…). Fourth, Multiparty system, which is several competing parties (Indonesia, Philippines…). Five, Two plus party system, which is country having two big and one or more small parties. Many democratic countries now have two large parties with one or more relevant smaller parties (Thailand). The last one party system, Fluid party system, which have a lot of party to election, but after elected, those party will disappeared b. Political operation Actually that bilateral cooperation between members’ countries of ASEAN is often antagonistic, such as Singapore with Malaysia, Malaysia with Thailand, Thailand with Myanmar, Cambodia with Thailand, Thailand with Laos, Malaysia with Indonesia, Cambodia with Vietnam, and Malaysia with Philippines…… Moreover, bilateral cooperation more is conflict by the country that is nearly each other, to solve while the rest remains, some disputes such as border demarcations. By the way, even ASEAN as a whole, but when one country have conflict with other country, the another country cannot be enjoy to that problems; this is the low of ASEAN. c. Security Cooperation The ASEAN security role has evolved through four challenges. First were the withdrawal of United States from Indochina and the establishment of communist governments in South Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. These developments provided the motion of the Declaration of ASEAN Concord (also known as Bali Concord) in 1976, which marked a concrete step in regional security agenda. The second challenge, the Vietnamese “ invasion” of Cambodia in December 1978, provided the real and meaningful factors to ASEAN political and security cooperation. This had prompted security concerns among ASEAN leaders and was expressed in terms of deliberation over possible contingency assistance in the event of aggression by Vietnam. As Thailand would be the frontline state for ASEAN in the “ domino theory”, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore pledged to provide aid to Thailand against a Vietnamese attack. Although no specific kind of aids were stated nor a military alliance to face the possible threats was ever raised or discussed, this shows the major shift in ASEAN leaders thinking on security cooperation. The third was the increasing strategic links between erstwhile Soviet Union and Vietnam, including their presence in the South China Sea and Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam. The fourth, the development of the global and regional security environments vis-a-vis the expansion of Chinese, Indian and Japanese navy, has led ASEAN policy-makers to rethink their options for security cooperation. This prompted calls for new levels of security cooperation via multilateral military exercises among the ASEAN states. It also made ASEAN policy makers to rethink the needs to review ASEAN’s political character and the needs for formal security cooperation among ASEAN states. Generally, with the exception of intelligence exchanges, the principal mode of security cooperation within ASEAN states will always be in the form of bilateral security cooperation. The four major forms of bilateral security cooperation are border security arrangements, intelligence sharing, and joint military exercises and training. d. ASEAN Charter The ASEAN charter was establishes legal and institutional frameworks for ASEAN, it ratified by 10 ASEAN member states on 20 November 2007. Moreover, the objectives of ASEAN charter are: * Enhance peace, security stability * Political, security, economic, socio-cultural cooperation. * Preserve as nuclear weapons free zone * Peace with the world, harmonious environment. * Single market and production base * Alleviate poverty, narrow development gap * Strengthen democracy, protect and promote human rights * Respond to common threats * Promote sustainable development * Develop human resources These successive changes produced a chaotic and weak structure, and proponents of the 2007 ASEAN Charter desired a document that would enable ASEAN to better facilitate economic integration and enhance security cooperation among the members. But they failed because of deeply seated norms, encapsulated by the “ ASEAN Way. The “ ASEAN Way” refers to several principles which collectively prevent organizational change, and can be reduced to two essential components. First, it emphasizes decision making through informal consultation among diplomats, which facilitates group consensus at official meetings. Second, it is a series of six behavioral principles set forth in the 1976 Treaty of Amity and Cooperation: (1) respect for state sovereignty; (2) freedom from external interference; (3) noninterference in internal affairs; (4) peaceful dispute settlement; (5) renunciation of the use of force; and (6) cooperation. Of these, member states particularly emphasize noninterference in each other’s internal affairs. Critics object that the ASEAN Way’s emphasis on consultation, consensus, and non-interference forces the organization to adopt only those policies which satisfy the “ lowest common denominator. ” These critics are correct that decision making by consensus requires members to see eye to eye before ASEAN can move forward on an issue, but these principles emerged to ensure stability in a historically tumultuous region. III. ASEAN Economic a. ASEAN Free Trade Area ASEAN Free Trade Area is an agreement between a group of Southeast Asian countries to limit trade barriers between member nations. It’s considered to be the heart and soul of ASEAN economic integration. This is designed to promote the free exchange of trade between these nations to strengthen their position on the global market while also attracting the attention of companies that may be interested in foreign direct investment. The ASEAN Free Trade Area has now been virtually established. It’s agreement that going to remove of obstacles to freer trade among member countries by reducing tariffs to 0-5% on traded manufactured goods and processed agricultural products and the removal of non-tariffs barriers and quantitative restrictions that limit the entry of imports. The creation of ASEAN Free Trade Area or we can call AFTA was adopted in Singapore which signed by Singapore Declaration in 1992. When the AFTA agreement was originally signed, ASEAN had six members, namely, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Vietnam joined in 1995, Laos and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999. The latecomers have not fully met the AFTA’s obligations, but they are officially considered part of the AFTA as they were required to sign the agreement upon entry into ASEAN, and were given longer time frames in which to meet AFTA’s tariff reduction obligations. But now they’re processing together with AFTA agreement. The main objectives of AFTA are to increase ASEAN’s competitiveness as a production base for both the regional and world markets by eliminating intra-ASEAN tariff and non-tariff barriers (NTBs) and attract more foreign direct investments into the regions. In addition, the purpose for AFTA was to develop greater trade and industrial linkages among ASEAN member countries. * ASEAN6 CEPT Package and Commitments to AFTA * To extend, on a reciprocal basis, Most-Favored Nation (MFN) and national Treatment to ASEAN member countries: means that all member of ASEAN have to treat the product to another countries with the same quantity and price. * To provide relevant information on her country’s economic, profile, particular trade statistics requirement when requested: means that we have to have the profile that provide a balance of payment, which show the amount of money that we are going to export or import. * To provide a list for tariff reduction and begin tariff reduction effective on 1 January 1993 and ending at 0-5% tariff rate on 1 January 2008. It have four categories of products under AFTA which are: * Inclusion List (IL): is the product for tariff reduction/elimination, and are essentially all manufactured and processed agricultural products and some unprocessed agricultural products. * Temporary Exclusion List (TEL): list of products which member countries seek temporary exclusion. * Sensitive and Highly Sensitive List (SL/HSL): list of products given a longer time frame for transfer into the Inclusion List and for tariff reduction/elimination and included unprocessed agricultural products. * General Exception List (GEL): products that are permanently exempted from tariff reduction/elimination for reasons of national security, human, animal and plant life and health, artistic, historic and archeological value. * Concluded Free Trade Agreement (FTA) We have other countries that have Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN as below: * ASEAN-Australia New Zealand Free Trade was concluded on 28 August 2008 and entered into force on 1 January 2010 for the following countries: Australia, Brunei, Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, the Philippines and Viet Nam. It entered into force for Thailand on 12 March 2010; Laos and Cambodia on 1 and 4 January 2011 respectively; and Indonesia on 10 January 2012. * ASEAN-China Free Trade Area signed on 4 November 2002 and came into force on January 1, 2010 with ASEAN6. The free trade agreement reduced tariffs on 7, 881 product categories, or 90% of import goods to zero. This reduction took effect in China and the six original members of ASEAN such as Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. The remaining four follow suit in 2015. The ASEAN-China Free Trade Area is the largest free trade area in terms of population and third largest in terms of nominal GDP. * ASEAN-India Free Trade Area was signed on 13 August 2009 and came into effect on 1 January 2010. * ASEAN-Republic of Korea Free Trade Area was signed on December 13, 2005. Trade in goods to be realized by 2012 for ASEAN-6, 2018 for Vietnam and 2020 for Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar while Trade in services and investment to be implemented pending further discussion and approval. b. ASEAN External Trade Relation 1) ASEAN-US The ASEAN-US dialogue have relationship began since 1977. It has also focused more and more on political and security discussions over the years, particularly with the end of the Cold War. The principle focus of the ASEAN-US security dialogue has been the role of the US in maintaining the peace and stability in the region. ASEAN-US relation is the strengthening the military and security cooperation. ASEAN countries have already reached a consensus which considers U. S military and security presence in Southeast Asia an important and indispensable counter weight for the balance power and stability in the region. On the other hand, after 2001 the ASEAN-U. S relations had the following new characteristics: * U. S military presence in Southeast Asia is accepted by most ASEAN countries, so they can help and protect from the army. * U. S-Philippine relations at a New Best * U. S-ASEAN joint forces against terrorism * Improved U. S Relations with Indonesia and Malaysia * Singapore strengthens its traditional friendly relations with America. * Economic Cooperation Total trade between ASEAN and the US has increased almost fourfold from US$23 billion in 1980 to US$80 billion in 1996. ASEAN is the fourth largest trading partner of the US after Canada, Japan and Mexico. For the US, ASEAN has been one of the fastest growing export markets. Between 1990- 1994, US exports grew at an average annual rate of 14. 1%. Today, more than half of ASEAN’s exports to US consist of industrial machinery and equipment including electronics, telecommunication components, computers and computer parts. Moreover, Effective free trade agreements with ASEAN need to be a U. S. priority. China, Japan, South Korea and India have negotiated such arrangements with ASEAN, and the European Union has recently announced intentions to do so. At the moment, Southeast Asian policies are too varied for a serious U. S.-ASEAN free trade agreement to be feasible. The Enhanced Partnership agreement envisions such cooperation in social and educational affairs. But much more can and should be done across all dimensions of society, from science and engineering to sports. Activities should target people-to-people connections to build relationships and trust throughout society. Thus, ASEAN and the United States should establish a substantial U. S.-ASEAN Partnership Fund, providing support for a wide range of programs, projects and activities. 2) ASEAN-Japan ASEAN and Japan first established informal dialogue relations in 1973, which was later formalized in March 1977 with the convening of the ASEAN-Japan Forum. Since then, significant progress has been made in ASEAN-Japan relations and cooperation spanning from the areas of political-security, economic-financial, to socio-cultural. ASEAN-Japan is strengthening of economic ties and providing aid to Southeast ASEAN countries. * Economic Cooperation Japan has strengthened its economic ties and expansion into Southeast Asia by taking advantage when most Southeast Asian countries were seriously hit by the 1997 ASEAN Financial Crisis. Taking Thailand as an example, it was hit extremely seriously by the ASEAN Financial Crisis; Japan provided a great amount of aid to Thailand to help it overcome the crisis. Thailand got provided from Japan with a total of more than US $12. 6 billion in financial and technical aid. Another example, In Malaysia, Japan is the second most important source of foreign direct investment after Singapore. In 2001, Japan applied for 116 direct investment projects in Malaysia, with a total volume of 1. 7 billion Malaysian ringgit. ASEAN and Japan are important trading partners. On the other hand, ASEAN is Japan’s second largest trading partner after China. ASEAN and Japan was signed free trade agreement that we called the ASEAN-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP). It was concluded on November 21, 2007 and entered into force on December 1, 2009 (Cambodia), June 1, 2009 (Thailand), February 1, 2009 (Malaysia), January 1, 2009 (Brunei), December 1, 2008 (Singapore, Laos, Vietnam, and Myanmar). The AJCEP Agreement is covering trade in goods, trade in services, investment and economic cooperation. The AJCEP would strengthen the economic ties between ASEAN and Japan and would create a larger and more efficient market with greater opportunities in this region. IV. Conclusion ASEAN is focus much about the political, security, economic, and socio- cultural cooperation. In the following I only maintain more about the security . ASEAN’s traditional approaches on security cooperation were successful especially during the Cold War in which ASEAN states have successfully developed a sufficient degree of national resilience, which enabled them to end the internal threat posed Later during the end of Cold War and its immediate aftermath, ASEAN security thinking has evolved drastically particularly on the policy of excluding the major power in the region. This resulted with some member states to engage direct military cooperation especially with the U. S. At the same time, ASEAN states collectively agreed on the requirements to involve all major regional powers in a security dialogue which witnessed the formation of ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the South of Korea), and others. ASEAN has also developed a sense of common identity among its members and one important aspect is the common approach towards security issues, political and economic development. The practice of the “ ASEAN Way” and the principle of regional autonomy constitute the basis of ASEAN common identity. Through these ASEAN Way, all disputes within ASEAN especially security disputes can be solved via consultations and consensus. ASEAN has contributed to conflict avoidance and management, and operated as an instrument to avoid the recurrence of conflic. On the contrary, despite the history of successful long-term cooperation, intra-ASEAN relations have and will continue to be affected by persistent feelings of mistrust, intra-ASEAN conflicts and disputes, and contradictory strategic perspectives. Therefore, any formal security cooperation or multilateral security cooperation is seemingly impossible unless all differences, divergences and disputes are overcome and solved, and most importantly, all the ten member states must unanimously agree and come to a “ solid” consensus in all security issues. Nevertheless, security problems will persist in overlapping Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), competitive claims to the Spartly Islands, territorial dispute, terrorism, piracy, smuggling, human trafficking, illegal immigration and maritime resources disputes. Most of these issues, however, are exclusively local and can be resolved by mutual and bilateral cooperation of the affected states. These developments did not signify a common ASEAN security cooperation but rather its decomposition into smaller security subgroups. Therefore, collaboration on security issues among ASEAN states will be confined to those states who perceive common security challenges. For this reason, ASEAN security cooperation remains improbable and anything more than bilateral or trilateral arrangements between neighbors are unlikely. As a conclusion, ASEAN security cooperation will remain at the level of regular consultations, bilateral security cooperation including military exercises and trainings, and the exchange of intelligence. The only form of trilateral and multilateral cooperation will be the “ Eye in the Sky” and exchange of security/military intelligence, respectively. In an environment which is no longer dominated by cold war ideological conflicts, the impetus for military alliances weakens and ASEAN security cooperation will remain largely bilateral in nature. Conversely, despite being bilateral in nature and limited to the sub-region, the cooperation has been valuable for confidence building measures. This can be expected to develop and evolve further even though it is unlikely to produce a full-blown multilateral security cooperation involving all ten member states. V. Reference: * midas. mod. gov. my/index. php? option= com… 8: p.. * http://www. aseansec. org/64. htm
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