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PHNOM PENH 18-20 Nov 2012 Cambodia hosts 21st ASEAN summit
Cambodia, 2012 president of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations, hosts its second ASEAN summit of the year. The 7th East As

November 18, 2012 - NULL

PHNOM PENH 18-20 Nov 2012 Cambodia hosts 21st ASEAN summit
Cambodia, 2012 president of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations, hosts its second ASEAN summit of the year. The 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) follows, bringing eight additional world leaders, all keen for fuller access to the vast SE-Asian market, to the city. With Europe's crisis showing just what can go wrong with integration, there are signs that the bloc's enthusiasm for full regional integration by 2015, with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), is cooling. At both summits, China would prefer to keep the debate on

PHNOM PENH 18-20 Nov 2012 Cambodia hosts 21st ASEAN summit
Cambodia, 2012 president of the 10-nation Association of South East Asian Nations, hosts its second ASEAN summit of the year. The 7th East Asia Summit (EAS) follows, bringing eight additional world leaders, all keen for fuller access to the vast SE-Asian market, to the city. With Europe's crisis showing just what can go wrong with integration, there are signs that the bloc's enthusiasm for full regional integration by 2015, with the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), is cooling. At both summits, China would prefer to keep the debate on trade and away from the issue of the South China Sea.
ASEAN's Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties to the South China Sea appears to be doing little to ease rising tensions over competing territorial claims in the waterway. China is buttressing its claims with an increasingly robust military presence. South Korea and Japan recently almost signed a military pact to help counter China's rising military might, and the Philippines is looking to United States help to bolster its territorial claims. Both Russia and the United States have announced plans to shift their military focus to the region. The New York Times pointed out in June that China's view of Southeast Asia is complicated. Economically, it would like to see a strong ASEAN, but on some delicate territorial issues, Beijing insists on dealing with countries individually.

The AEC goals include the free movement of goods and services, and an even freer movement of capital and talents among the 10 member states. Malaysia's Star observed in July that as the bloc observes the crisis in the eurozone and European Union in general, people now asking if the AEC is a good idea after all. The newspaper asks if, given the range in economic development, diverse political and economic systems and cultural differences, whether ASEAN can be molded into a community and whether regional cooperation should be forced.

Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam make up ASEAN. The EAS is now 18 members strong -- Russia and the United States were admitted in 2011. The other EAS members are Australia, New Zealand, China, India, Japan and South Korea.

The 20th ASEAN Summit, with the theme of "ASEAN: One Community, One Destiny," was held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on 3-4 Apr 2012. (WRITTEN JUL 2012)

RELATED READING:

Can diverse Asean nations form a community by 2015? (Malaysian Star 4 Jul 2012)

http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/7/4/business/11596835&;sec=business

Preparing for centre-stage (The Pioneer 14 Jun 2012)

http://www.dailypioneer.com/columnists/item/51802-preparing-for-centre-stage.html

US to Assure ASEAN on China During Meetings (5 Jul 2012)

http://www.voanews.com/content/asian-cambodia-meetings/1364157.html

Wary Neighbors Turn Into Partners in a Quickly Developing Southeast Asia (NYT http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/06/world/asia/asean-nations-become-more-integrated.html)

Philippines urged to act cooperatively (People's Daily 4 Jul 2012)
http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/90883/7864687.html

Lowering the risks of conflict in the Asia-Pacific (Japan Times 6 Jul 2012)
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/eo20120706a1.html

Date written/update: 2012-11-18