Inside Story

Is ASEAN at risk of being used by more powerful countries?

Indonesia hosts southeast Asian regional forum with China, Russia and the US attending, too.

“We don’t want ASEAN to become a proxy for other countries.”

These were the words of Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo, as foreign ministers from 10 regional countries that are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations met in the capital, Jakarta.

Running through the region are major fault lines of disputes between east and west.

The arrival of top diplomats from China, Russia and the United States underline the importance of the region, as well as its potential flashpoints – Taiwan, North Korea, Russia’s war in Ukraine, territorial disputes in the South China Sea. to name just a few.

So is ASEAN at risk of being used by more powerful countries? Or is it normal diplomatic engagement?

Presenter: Emily Angwin


Ja Ian Chong – Associate professor of Political Science, National University of Singapore

Shirley Yu – Senior visiting fellow, London School of Economics

Einar Tangen – Aenior fellow, Taihe Institute