GS Paper 2:
Topics Covered: Important International institutions, agencies and fora, their structure, mandate.
A Chinese envoy has lobbied Southeast Asian nations to let Myanmar’s military ruler attend a regional summit being hosted by China’s President next week but has met stiff opposition from other leaders.
What’s the issue?
Myanmar’s standing as a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been thrown into the spotlight by a Februay 1 coup, when its military ousted the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking bloody turmoil.
- Following this, ASEAN leaders blocked Myanmar’s military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, from an ASEAN summit after he failed to honour pledges to allow an ASEAN envoy to meet lawmakers overthrown in the coup.
- Later, ASEAN leaders said a non-political figure from Myanmar should be asked to attend. In the end, Myanmar was not represented.
What is ASEAN?
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is a regional organization which was established to promote political and social stability amid rising tensions among the Asia-Pacific’s post-colonial states.
The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
ASEAN Secretariat – Indonesia, Jakarta.
Established in 1967 with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers.
Founding Fathers of ASEAN are: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
Ten Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
Significance of ASEAN for India:
- Against the backdrop of aggressive moves by China, including the Ladakh standoff, India placed the ASEAN at the centre of India’s Act East policy and held that a cohesive and responsive ASEAN is essential for security and growth for all in the region.
- ASEAN is necessary for the success of the Security And Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR) Vision.
- The region is significant for diversification and resilience of supply chains for post-Covid-19 economic recovery.
- It is India’s 4th largest trading partner with about USD 86.9 billion in trade.
India became a Sectoral Partner of ASEAN in 1992. Read here.
- Geographical location of asean countries.
- Total population of asean countries.
- Chairmanship of ASEAN.
- When and where Asean summits are held?
- What are Free-trade agreements (FTAs)?
Examine the significance of ASEAN for India’s economic, geo-strategic and security imperatives?
Sources: the Hindu.