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Explaining and Understanding ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific / Surat HORACHAIKUL

Asia’s Post-Pandemic Order and Integration: Outlook of ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific at Crossroads

Explaining and Understanding ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific : A Neo-classical Realist Account
Surat HORACHAIKUL, Indian Studies Center and Faculty of Political Science (Chulalongkorn University)

This article employs a lens of neo-classical realism to argue that the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) is the best outcome for what ASEAN’s member states could compromise in the context of BRI led by China and Indo-Pacific led by the United States. To satisfy the title, the article is divided into four parts. The first part delineates AOIP and the criticisms against AOIP. The second part addresses ASEAN’s member states’ different national interests and ASEAN’s centrality. The third part examines the Chairman’s Statement on the ASEAN Leaders’ Meeting held in April 2021 in Indonesia to show how the Myanmar coup issue reflects the struggling ASEAN’s centrality and AOIP. The last part summarizes and ends with some implications on the future of ASEAN.


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Session 2 / Southeast Asia between India and China : Reimagining Asia and Regional Indo-Pacific Order
Chair : Prof Surichai WUN’GAEO, Professor Emeritus (Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok)

The Indo-Pacific area with important economic and cultural interactions between the two oceans go back millennia, long before the colonial era. Against tremendous changes in the post-colonial and –Cold War periods, the late 20th century’s debate has been recentered on the Asia-Pacific. And again in the early 21st century, the Indo-Pacific has also added as a new framework for regional order. The increasing geographical connection of East and Southeast Asia to South Asia, the Middle East and Africa, has helped to advance the Indo-Pacific as a new world’s economic and strategic concept. This session focusses on the two Asian giants, their expanding economic capabilities and strategic interests, and on the Indo-Pacific area for their interactions. Both have increased their influence in Southeast Asia through the “Maritime Silk Road” by President Xi Jinping since 2013 and the “Act East” agenda by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. It also highlights the ASEAN’s strategy to assert itself as a major actor of this new regional order.

“Asia’s Post-Pandemic Order and Integration : Outlook of ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific at Crossroads” is an international conference organized by The Research Institute on Contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC-CNRS) with the ASEAN Studies Center (Chulalongkorn University) in Bangkok, and the ASEAN-India Centre (AIC), RIS in New Delhi.
8-9 July 2021 - Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok