Why ASEAN Can’t Stand Up to China

Divisions and lack of consensus.

Why ASEAN Can’t Stand Up to China

Amanda Conklin

China’s negotiations with ASEAN on a Code of Conduct for the South China Seaare dragging into their thirteenth year. At the same time, China has undertaken a massive land reclamation campaign to change the status quo in the South China Sea, leaving critics to lament ASEAN’s inability to form a united policy toward China.

Ambiguity about China’s rise is a “black sheep” in the integration of Southeast Asia. Although ASEAN plans to achieve the economic pillar of building a regional community by the end of 2015, integration on the political-security pillar has been slow, partly due to the ASEAN principles of non-interference and non-confrontational bargaining that slow consensus building.

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Source: nationalinterest.org

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