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Latest News and Updates

Lecture: ASEAN at 50: Reflections on Its Past, Present and Future
As ASEAN marks its 50th year, this lecture will review its achievements, challenges and prospects. During the last fifty years, ASEAN has gained a regional and global prominence that its founders would not have anticipated. But ASEAN is also in the danger of being a victim of its past success. The lecture will conclude by offering some suggestions as to how ASEAN can move forward in an increasingly complex global and regional environment.

The Lecture will be held at the Institute on 1 February 2017, 10am.

Click here to read more about the lecture and registration details.
ISEAS Perspective: Challenges for Indonesia to achieve its Maritime Connectivity Plan and Leverage on Regional Initiatives by Siwage Dharma Negara and Sanchita Basu Das
“The Master Plan for ASEAN Connectivity, seen as an initiative to facilitate trade and investment in the region, covers many physical and maritime infrastructure projects. China has also come to the forefront with its regional connectivity plan of Belt and Road Initiative and its attached financing schemes."

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ASEAN could bear fallout from giants’ dispute over South China Sea
“Tensions in the South China Sea would likely rise in 2017 due to the overflow of Sino-US rivalry into the region. China may use the South China Sea to register its displeasure towards the US over Trump’s initial overture to Taiwan.” - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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ISEAS Perspective: Southeast Asia Outlook 2017
ASC Head Tang Siew Mun examines the future of RCEP negotiations, the South China Sea dispute, the revision of the ASEAN Charter and the expansion of ASEAN's membership as the organisation celebrates its golden jubilee under the Philippines' chairmanship.

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Five Decades of ASEAN: The History of a Political Miracle by Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap, Lead Researcher (Political & Security Affairs)
“Moving forward, ASEAN cannot just rely on praise and recognition from its external friends and partners. ASEAN must increase its own political, diplomatic, economic, and social weights by building a successful community.”

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ASEAN Spotlight: ASEAN Student Progams
Lead Researcher (Socio-Cultural Affairs) Moe Thuzar was featured on ChannelnewsAsia's half-hour news magazine programme showcasing how ASEAN affects the lives of ordinary people across the region.

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Rohingya plight now an ASEAN issue
"I would think that this [month's retreat] shows the connection between ASEAN's quiet diplomacy and the non-interference principle, and the illustration of this combination has usually been in trying to assist Myanmar." - Moe Thuzar

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Commentary: What can ASEAN do about the Rohingya crisis? by ISEAS Fellow Hoang Thi Ha
"ASEAN has taken pride in its patience and wisdom in constructively engaging Myanmar during the latter’s years of isolation. This will be another test of such constructive engagement, and an ultimate sign of ASEAN maturity as a community."

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Rakhine Crisis Challenges ASEAN's Non-Interference Principle by ISEAS Fellow Hoang Thi Ha and Visiting Senior Fellow, Ye Htut
"There are avenues for ASEAN to involve itself in the problem, especially in delivering humanitarian assistance, accessing the troubled areas for needs assessment, building border control capacity, and combating trafficking in persons, radicalisation and terrorism."

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ASEAN should keep engaging Myanmar on Rohingyas: Experts
"ASEAN should leverage on "its power of non-confrontational persuasion" to help craft a solution...It is "untenable" to localise the issue within Myanmar's boundaries. Its spillover effects - exodus of migrants and stimulation of jihadism - have gone beyond Rakhine state to impact the ASEAN region."

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Stumbling Blocks to RCEP by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics)
"RCEP seems to be getting its second wind of late after missing numerous deadlines, in part due to the uncertain future of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). The negotiating parties are optimistic that the negotiations will likely conclude by end of 2017, but this elusive goal will partly depend on its success in reconciling the divergent interests among the 16 parties."

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Managing the Rohingya Issue through Quiet Diplomacy by ISEAS Fellow Hoang Thi Ha
"Perhaps ASEAN’s role in this issue should not be read as a challenge to non-interference, but as a validation of mutual respect and constructive engagement. "

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Myanmar’s Rohingya Crisis is ASEAN’s Responsibility by Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap, Lead Researcher (Political & Security Affairs)
"ASEAN’s credibility and centrality are directly at stake here should ASEAN member governments continue to shy from offering the assistance. They cannot pretend to be oblivious of the suffering of these human beings. Offering assistance must not be mistaken as interfering in the domestic affairs of Myanmar. This is part of the collective responsibility in ASEAN to maintain and enhance regional peace, security, and prosperity, as well as promote the well-being of all peoples in the ASEAN Community."

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Manila will be a neutral, honest ASEAN chair: Philippine diplomat
His Excellency Enrique A. Manalo, who spoke at the ASEAN Lecture Series on 23 Nov 2016, was interviewed by TODAY on the Philippine's role as the ASEAN Chair next year as well as its key priorities under its chairmanship.

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Fate of TPP and Other Possible Configurations by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics)
"There are now 3 possible scenarios: a) TPP goes ahead among 11 members with Japan’s leadership, b) the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) gets an impetus and the negotiation concludes soon in 2017 and c) China leads the Free Trade Agreement of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP), along with its emphasis on connectivity."

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South-east Asia needs a reset on trade deals by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics)
"Most importantly, countries need to improve understanding of how trade deals work among their own people. That does not mean only the aggregate benefits of a deal, but also its distributional consequences... If countries are unable to rise to the challenge, the mood on trade agreements is likely to further sour. It is time to seriously acknowledge that all economic actions have political dimensions."

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Myanmar, ASEAN and the United States: New Directions under a Trump Presidency? by Lead Researcher (Socio-Cultural Affairs) Moe Thuzar
"Governments in the region are now assessing what a Trump presidency will mean for their relations with the US, individually as well as collectively under the umbrella of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The concern is all the more palpable as 2017 marks both the 50th anniversary of ASEAN’s founding and the 40th anniversary of ASEAN-US Dialogue Relations. ASEAN-US relations were elevated to strategic partnership level in 2015. A joint work plan spanning 2016 to 2020 highlights priorities for economic integration, maritime cooperation, transboundary issues such as climate change, and supporting emerging leaders and women’s opportunities."

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ASEAN Lecture Series: The Philippines’ Priorities for the 2017 ASEAN Chairmanship
The ASEAN Studies Centre will be organising the ASEAN Lecture Series on the Philippines Priorities for the 2017 ASEAN Chairmanship. The Lecture will be presented by His Excellency Enrique A. Manalo, Undersecretary for Policy at the Department of Foreign Affairs, Republic of the Philippines. It will be held at the Institute on 23 November 2016 at 10am.

Click here to register and find out more about the lecture.
ASEAN-US Relations: Can the Momentum be Maintained? by ISEAS Fellow Hoang Thi Ha
"It will require a new American president with a long view of the US' long-term interests in South-east Asia, and an appreciation of the region's complexities and diversity, to ensure that its robust embrace with ASEAN will not relapse to neglect. Sustaining this robust engagement into the future is in the long-term interest of the US and ASEAN."

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Obama's legacy in South-east Asia
ASC Head Tang Siew Mun along with other scholars in ISEAS share their viewpoints on Obama's legacy in South-east Asia in this two-part series Straits Times feature published on 4th and 5th November 2016.

"Under Mr Obama's leadership, the US acceded to the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in 2009 and, two years later, joined the East Asia Summit (EAS), the region's premier strategic forum. US participation in the EAS is a game-changer, providing an institutional anchor for the US leadership to gain invaluable face-time with regional leaders. It also paved the way for the US to join the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting Plus, expanding the US security repertoire from its traditional bilateral focus to multilateral engagements." - Tang Siew Mun

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Unshackling ASEAN by ISEAS Fellow Le Hong Hiep
"When ASEAN member states cannot reach a consensus, they should distinguish between two types of issues to determine the path forward: those that have obvious implications for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and domestic autonomy of a member state; and those that have obvious implications for regional security. ASEAN member states should seek consensus in the former case, unless the country in question decides otherwise. But in the latter case, they should have the option to conduct a majority vote."

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Conference: Services Liberalization in ASEAN: Foreign Direct Investment in Logistics Sector
The services sector has gained growing attention in recent years. It has accounted for an increasing share in the Gross Domestic Product of a number of economies while its global trade growth has surpassed the growth in merchandise trade. This Conference brings together prominent economists and logistics experts to assess the extent to which ASEAN’s services liberalization policies are able to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the logistics sector. It further examines the challenges encountered in each of the 10 ASEAN member countries in this issue, with the aim of finding solutions for meeting the goals of logistics integration.

Attendance to the Conference is free of charge but registration is required by 11 November 2016. As seats are limited, please register early.

Click here for the programme and here for the registration form.
Duterte’s shift towards Beijing spells more trouble for ASEAN centrality
“An ASEAN chair that is openly hostile to (the US), one of ASEAN’s most important dialogue partners, will undermine the regional organisation’s centrality.” - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

“It is Manila’s right to discuss (the issue) bilaterally with Beijing. In fact, these overtures should be encouraged as they will de-escalate rising tensions in the South China Sea." - ISEAS Senior Fellow Dr Malcolm Cook

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The Duterte challenge for ASEAN by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"Mr Duterte's actions have consequences beyond his home country, especially when the Philippines takes on its duties as ASEAN chair next year as the grouping celebrates its golden jubilee. A chair's apparent favour towards one dialogue partner over others is bound to generate distrust and undermine ASEAN's centrality."

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ISEAS Perspective: “Can ASEAN Overcome the ‘Consensus Dilemma’ over the South China Sea?” by ISEAS Fellow Le Hong Hiep
"The principle of consultation and consensus has so far been essential to ASEAN’s success. However, as the regional setting rapidly changes, especially due to the rise of China, the principle is rendering ASEAN ineffectual in addressing urgent regional security matters. To overcome this challenge, ASEAN should consider either procedural reforms or institutional innovations."

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Duterte’s personal game could lead to choppier waters for Asean by ISEAS Senior Fellow Malcolm Cook
“The Philippines’ relations with East Asia’s major powers matter for Southeast Asia. The Philippines will assume the chairmanship of the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean) next year, and will take over from Singapore as coordinator of the Asean-China dialogue partner relations in 2018”.

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ASEAN needs some serious soul-searching on its ties with a friend showing signs of increasing assertiveness by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"It is time ASEAN finds the backbone to fend off China's repeated and increasingly aggressive tactics. If ASEAN member states stand down now, they will soon have nothing to stand on. But taking a stand does not mean taking on China."

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ISEAS Perspective: Logistics Integration in ASEAN Faces Serious Challenges by Tham Siew Yean, ISEAS Senior Fellow and Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics), ASC 
"...Coordinated implementation is required in each member country besides investments in financial and human resources. These internal efforts will enhance the competitiveness of each member country and with it, their commitment to logistics integration." 

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ASEAN's efforts to remove trade barriers remain piecemeal by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics), ASC 
"Implementing ATF, Assist and measures under MPAC 2025 and the IAI Work Plan III are only baby steps to undertaking national-level reforms. Still, in the long run, complying with these measures and others is not only going to enhance trade flows, but will also help ASEAN member states with their economic growth and development." 

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When Duterte meets ASEAN by ISEAS Senior Fellow Malcolm Cook and ASC Head Tang Siew Mun 
"Mr Duterte has taken a very different tack, denying that the Philippines’ maritime disputes with China are a matter for ASEAN. As a result of Manila’s changed position, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin has said bilateral ties between China and the Philippines are at a turning point." 

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Questions on China’s Friendship Treaty Proposal by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"... Notions of “good neighbours” and “peace” ring hollow as long as the South China Sea remains a ticking time-bomb. If China cannot bring itself to commit to a legally binding Code of Conduct in the South China Sea, what moral force and credibility can it bring to the proposed treaty?" 

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ASEAN Kicks-in the Next Phase of Regional Connectivity by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics), ASC
"... The document mentions more precisely where different dimensions of connectivity fit into the ASEAN Community Blueprint. The five strategic areas are also mutually re-enforcing and tacks onto the priorities of the ASEAN Political-Security, Economic and Socio-Cultural communities. " 

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Six takeaways from ASEAN summits
ASC Head Tang Siew Mun for The Straits Times S.E.A View shares the six takeaways from the ASEAN summits.
"Laos has successfully passed the ASEAN chairmanship test and is marking time until the end of the year to formally hand over the ASEAN mantle to the Philippines. If Mr Duterte's "theatrics" in Vientiane are any indication, the next ASEAN Summit promises to be unpredictable and eventful." 

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ASEAN’s RCEP Dilemma
"The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) negotiations to combine into a greater whole ASEAN’s trade agreements with Japan, China, India, South Korea, and Australia and New Zealand are well behind schedule with no timetable for conclusion. The tunnel grows longer and the light dimmer." - ISEAS Senior Fellow Dr Malcolm Cook 

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Strategic trust crucial in China-ASEAN ties
"On the whole, the past 25 years of ASEAN-China dialogue relations have been a positive and mutually beneficial one. What the future holds for the next 25 years remains to be seen... However, ASEAN-China relations will remain on an even keel if both sides stay on course and build trust." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun 

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Little room for ASEAN to move in maritime dispute
"...To give China the widest strategic manoeuvrability vis-a-vis the new US administration and the Philippines' ASEAN chairmanship, and keep Washington and Manila in check on the South China Sea". - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun  

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Second Eastern Economic Forum results meet all expectations of guests and organizers
“The long-term political effect is a reaffirmation of Russia’s wish to promote equal security and shared prosperity in East Asia – which Russia’s Far East is and must be counted as an important part of.” - Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap

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"Taking Baby Steps in the South China Sea", a Commentary by Hoang Thi Ha
Keeping peace and stability in the SCS is still a long game even beyond the COC. Establishing a web of confidence-building and preventive diplomacy measures is always an indispensable part of this uphill journey." 

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ASEAN, China introduce measures to dial down tensions in South China Sea
“I wouldn’t call it a ‘breakthrough’ because the Cues in the South China Sea will not include coast guard vessels of littoral states." - Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap 

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Making the Cues code work in the South China Sea by Hoang Thi Ha, Fellow, ASC
"Against this growing volatility, the ASEAN-China Cues in the South China Sea is a positive development that could help reduce miscalculations and institutionalise communication and safety measures among regional navies in the area." 

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Commentary: The Case of the Missing Civil Society Organisations (CSO) at the ASEAN Summit by Hoang Thi Ha, Fellow, ASC
"Underlying this debate over government-appointed CSO versus independent CSO and the absence of the CSO interface at the Vientiane Summit is the lack of mutual understanding or accommodation between a growing civil society that wants more say in regional governance and the ASEAN way of inter-governmentalism." 

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Obama to play key role at ASEAN summits as part of historic Laos visit
“On balance, the US plays the important role of raising and discussing issues that are deemed ‘sensitive’ or ‘inconvenient’ for ASEAN especially with respect to China... There is no better assurance of US strategic endurance in the region than to have the president being on the ground in Southeast Asia.” - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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ASEAN Lecture Series: Achieving a Connected and Integrated ASEAN through the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity 2025
In recognition of the importance of connectivity toward regional integration, ASEAN member states have thus adopted the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity in 2010, covering the three dimensions of physical, institutional and people-to-people connectivity. This lecture is one of the earliest public preview and discussions on the new blueprint which focuses on five strategic areas, namely sustainable infrastructure, digital innovation, seamless logistics, regulatory excellence, and people mobility. It will also highlight the priority areas of the new blueprint, as well as provide an analysis of the state of connectivity of the preceding blueprint.

The Lecture will be held on 15 September 2016 at 10am at the Institute.

Click here to read more on the lecture and here for the registration form.
ASEAN is coming together — slowly
“Placed between the giant markets of China and India, we realised we would have nothing to offer if we [did] not create a single market.” - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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Navigating the South China Sea issue at the ASEAN Summits by Tang Siew Mun
"Given China’s deep and extensive engagement with the region, it stands to gain the most from a united ASEAN. Rather than working to undermine ASEAN unity, it should endeavour to strengthen it." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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Commentary: Previewing the 28th and 29th ASEAN Summits and Related Meetings
"From 5-8 September, leaders from countries constituting 56.7% of the world’s GDP output will descend upon the Lao capital Vientiane as the nation plays host to the ASEAN Summit and its related meetings ... ASEAN’s strategic weight will be amplified by the attendance of world leaders like US President Barack Obama and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun & Jason Salim, Research Officer

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"Think Tank" Panel Discussion Programme: Episode 4 - "Will There Be An ASEAN - 5 Years From Now?"
In the fourth episode of the "Think Tank" Panel Discussion Programme by RSIS and Channel NewsAsia, ASC's Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics) was featured as one of the panellists sharing her insights on the several internal and external challenges faced by Southeast Asia, such as domestic leadership change and big powers' dynamics in the region

Click here to view the episode on Toggle.
Building a better bloc requires a stronger nerve center by Lead Researcher (Socio-Cultural Affairs) Moe Thuzar
"More communication between policy, research and business can help bridge the challenges of implementation and coordinating delivery, boost the caliber of awareness and discussion about ASEAN, give proper context to sensitive topics and reach out to the bloc's wider populace." - Ms Moe Thuzar

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A Partial ASEAN Customs Union Post 2015 by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics)
This paper explores the feasibility of the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) moving forward to the next step of economic integration, i.e., towards an ASEAN Customs Union (ACU) post-2015. Effectively, the way to progress towards an ACU is by forming it among ASEAN-9 members with Singapore maintaining its existing zero tariffs against non-members, thereby creating a Partial ACU. Using applied general equilibrium modeling exercise based on GTAP, the findings suggest that there are potential net positive welfare gains to be collectively reaped by ASEAN if it moves from an AFTA to a partial ACU post-2015. However, not all ASEAN members will individually gain from such an ACU and members may need to devise a feasible mechanism wherein some member country welfare losses in an ACU can be compensated by the members who gain. The paper argues that in spite of political economy challenges due to ASEAN’s unique characteristics and diversity in the levels of economic development among members, such a Partial ACU could be considered by ASEAN leaders due to its strategic imperatives.

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ASEAN Roundtable 2016: H.E. Mr Le Luong Minh Keynote Address
His Excellency Mr Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations delivered the Keynote Address on AEC 2025: Building a Community through Economic Integration at the ASEAN Roundtable on 30 August 2016 at the Institute. The Keynote Address highlights the past, present, and future of the AEC in the context of the formal establishment of the AEC in 2015 and the adoption of the AEC Blueprint 2025

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Brexit and the Region
In this episode of Between The Lines, Lead Researcher (Economics) Sanchita Basu Das shares her views on the implications of Brexit on ASEAN.

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ASEAN hits 49th anniversary as it struggles with reaching consensus on South China Sea tensions, economic development
"ASEAN has done a commendable job in management [of] the South China Sea within the limitations that [it] operates [in]... For instance, ASEAN has provided additional channels for disputing parties to engage in beyond official bilateral efforts." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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At 49, what’s next for ASEAN? by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"ASEAN member states need to constantly remind themselves that membership in the regional organisation does not only entail showing up at Asean meetings and paying the annual contribution to fund the Secretariat. It also means, above all, subscribing to the creed and living up to the spirit of the regional organisation."

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Asean should highlight more of its efforts on economic cooperation by Sanchita Basu Das, Lead Researcher (Economics), ASC
"Economic cooperation among the 10 South-east Asian nations has the potential to deliver on a more integrated and united ASEAN. Highlighting this will present a more balanced view of ASEAN to the domestic stakeholders and the rest of the world."

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Fast-Track Talks on the Code of Conduct in the South China Sea: An Opportunity to Move Forward by Hoang Thi Ha, Fellow, ASC
"ASEAN and China should learn from the DOC experience to strive for a more robust COC framework that goes beyond rhetoric and symbolism. Otherwise, the countless hours of negotiations will be an exercise in futility."

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South China Sea dispute: ASEAN voice drowned out as big powers pipe up
"ASEAN does not take views on the merits of (claims to) the South China Sea... The fact that a joint communique was issued is in itself an achievement for ASEAN." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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How should ASEAN deal with Cambodia?
"Myanmar used to be that recalcitrant member. Today, it is Cambodia... So, the ball is in Cambodia’s court to shape up." - Moe Thuzar Lead Researcher (Socio-Cultural Affairs)

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COMMENTARY: Reflections on the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"Deep-seated divisions within ASEAN on the SCS disputes remain irreparable, with Cambodia holding firm to its position that the SCS is not an ASEAN issue. Unsurprisingly, Cambodia was blamed for blocking ASEAN just as it did in Phnom Penh in 2012. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, future AMMs will see the recurrent pattern of Cambodia sanitising direct or indirect linkages between the SCS and China."

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COMMENTARY: Rule of Law in the South China Sea: Where does ASEAN Stand? by Hoang Thi Ha, Fellow, ASC
"There is no question that the rule of law is most cherished by ASEAN, being a key component of its soft power. ASEAN has also been seeking to build a rules-based order to balance realpolitik in the region. And yet, ASEAN’s advocacy for the rule of law is under duress in the face of the rule of might."

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COMMENTARY: The Veto: ASEAN’s Growing Liability by Jason Salim, Research Officer, ASC
"A frank and forthright discussion on ASEAN's next steps will determine whether it can remain credible as a regional organisation expressing collective regional concerns. The Vientiane “experience” should not be seen as a failure, but instead as the impetus towards a better ASEAN."

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ASEAN joint statement on S China Sea omits mention of Hague ruling
“Anytime ASEAN produces a statement that contains views that expresses the member states’ concerns and hopes for a peaceful management and resolution of the South China Sea is good news. Speaking in guarded tones, although not entirely satisfactory, is better than being silenced.” - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

"The next step forward for ASEAN now is to continue to engage China to improve the implementation of the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea as well as to speed up the conclusion of a Code of Conduct in the South China Sea." - Dr Termsak Chalermpalanupap

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Watered-down ASEAN statement could diminish grouping’s already waning clout: analysts
"It is very important for Japan to continue reaching out to Cambodia and Laos, which should be broadened to include trade and investment, and not just focusing on aid and technical assistance... Such efforts take time for fruition and Japan has to play the long-haul strategic game and not be disheartened by the occasional bumps on the road." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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ASEAN must reassess its ‘one voice’ decision-making by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"To save itself, ASEAN needs to address the debilitating effect of consensus decision-making. The power to veto by any one member state must be removed. Institutionalising the “ASEAN minus X” principle — a formula for flexible participation instead of full consensus — in political issues will keep the Trojan horses in check and also improve ASEAN's effectiveness and decision-making."

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Commentary: Issues and Points to Look out for at the 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings
ASC Head Tang Siew Mun shares topics and pointers to look out for at the upcoming 49th ASEAN Foreign Ministers Meeting on 23-26 July 2016 in Vientiane.

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Commentary: Why China must charm ASEAN again
"The failure of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers to issue the joint statement is symptomatic of ASEAN’s outmoded institutional design that favours unanimity over function and efficiency." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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No ASEAN Consensus on the South China Sea by Termsak Chalermpalanupap, Lead Researcher (Political and Security Affairs)
"But first of all, the ASEAN foreign ministers must show they collectively have what it takes to defend ASEAN’s credibility and centrality."

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Demystifying Asean's 'performance' in disputes by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
ASEAN's credibility: How does it measure up in the South China Sea disputes? Tang Siew Mun examines five perceptions and criticisms of ASEAN in this op-ed in The Straits Times.

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Criticism of China’s South China Sea Stand to Intensify at ASEM in Mongolia
"Refusing to have a meaningful discussion on the issue will only solidify the growing image of China's intransigence and high-handed diplomacy." - Tang Siew Mun

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South China Sea Ruling Puts Fish Rivalry Into Spotlight
"Beijing is in desperate need for a mechanism to reach out to Southeast Asia. A code of conduct between Southeast Asia and China, even if not related to fishing, could become China’s saving grace.” - Tang Siew Mun

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M’sia faces dilemma with cautious approach to S China Sea disputes by ASC Head Tang Siew Mun
"To be sure, Kuala Lumpur can ill-afford to continue its inconsistent approach on the South China Sea. Better coordination among line agencies would go a long way in communicating and protecting Malaysia’s interest in the area."

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ASEAN regional experts on the South China Sea ruling
Dr Termsak along with other ASEAN regional experts was interviewed by Asialink, an affiliate of The University of Melbourne on the recent South China Ruling.

"My suggestion is to go for a positive common ASEAN statement – not to welcome or support the ruling (there is no need for any ASEAN endorsement, because the arbitral tribunal has the authority, expertise and jurisdiction to make the ruling) – to reiterate universally-recognised principles of rule of law, peaceful settlement of disputes, and friendly negotiations."

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Beijing braces for South China Sea challenge at Asia-Europe Meeting
"Much to Beijing’s displeasure the South China Sea issue will find its way into the region’s major discussions and summits... Refusing to have a meaningful discussion on the issue will only solidify the growing image of China’s intransigence and high-handed diplomacy." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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South China Sea Ruling Gives Smaller Claimants Leverage
"China could allay fears in Southeast Asia by prioritizing talks with ASEAN over a proposed but long-delayed code of conduct regulating behavior in the South China Sea." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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China, Philippines Eye Talks After Ruling Against Beijing Maritime Claims
“It is highly likely that China will undertake a show of military force to underline its sovereignty, but such measures will only aggravate China’s battered image globally." - ASC Head Tang Siew Mun

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How The Hague ruling affects other claimants
ASC Head Tang Siew Mun shares his thoughts on the significance of the Hague Ruling and how it will affect Malaysia.

"However, continued Chinese aggression within Malaysia’s EEZ will put added pressure on the Malaysian leadership, which is known to have a cosy relationship with Beijing, to back up its rights in the South China Sea."

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