ASEAN and East Asia Summit

Why is it in the news?

Recently, in Jakarta, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the ASEAN-India Summit and took part in the East Asia Summit.

Highlights of the Summit

  • ASEAN emphasized the need to strengthen stability in the maritime sphere in the region and explore new initiatives.
  • ASEAN leaders sought to assert the bloc’s relevance, particularly regarding Myanmar’s situation, where violence has persisted since a military coup in early 2021.
  • The South China Sea dispute was a major concern, with ASEAN discussing the acceleration of negotiations on a code of conduct for the waterway.


  • PM Modi emphasized the significance of the summit, stating that it is a central pillar of India’s Act East policy.
  • He acknowledged ASEAN as the epicentre of growth and emphasized the crucial role it plays in global development.
  • He expressed India’s support for ASEAN’s outlook on the Indo-Pacific and highlighted ASEAN’s prominent role in India’s Indo-Pacific initiative.
  • Further, he mentioned that the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and ASEAN has injected new dynamism into their ties.
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
聽Aspect聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Information
AboutA political and economic organization focused on promoting economic growth and regional stability among its members.
FoundationFounded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.
Member statesBrunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
ExpansionBrunei joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999, totalling ten member states.
ASEAN plus ThreeA forum coordinating cooperation between ASEAN and the East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.
ASEAN plus SixIncludes ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.
ASEAN SummitThe highest policy-making body in ASEAN, comprising the Heads of States or Government of ASEAN Member States.
Summit FrequencyHeld twice annually.
First ASEAN SummitHeld in Bali, Indonesia in 1976.


ASEAN-India relations

1) Multi-level Interaction:

  • Engagement with ASEAN involves multi-level interaction.
  • The apex is the annual “ASEAN-India Summit.”
  • Summits are supported by meetings at the Foreign Minister level called the “ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers Meeting” (AIFMM).
  • India actively engages with ASEAN through ASEAN-led mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Regional Forum, and ADMM-Plus.
  • The ADMM Plus is an annual meeting of Defence Ministers from 10 ASEAN countries and eight dialogue partner countries.
About路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Leader-led forum for discussing political, security, and economic challenges in the region.

Origin路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Concept promoted in 1991 by then-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad.
Members路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Total of 18 member countries.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 ASEAN Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Other Members: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, United States.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 India is one of the founding members.

Leadership & Chair position路聽聽聽聽聽聽 ASEAN leads the forum.

路聽聽聽聽聽聽 Chair position rotates annually among ASEAN member states.


2) Delhi Dialogue:

  • The “Delhi Dialogue” (DD) mechanism is hosted by India annually.
  • Traditionally inaugurated jointly by India and ASEAN at the Foreign Minister鈥檚 level.
  • It serves as the primary Track 1.5 mechanism for engagement. It allows participation of think tanks, academics, and civil society members from India and ASEAN to contribute ideas to the India-ASEAN strategic partnership.

3) Act East Policy & Indo-Pacific:

  • Indo-Pacific is a region where ASEAN is central 鈥 ASEAN Centrality
  • Both ASEAN and India uphold values of openness, inclusiveness, rules-based order, freedom of navigation, and peaceful dispute resolution in the Indo-Pacific.

4) Maritime Connectivity & Security:

  • India is surrounded by the Indian Ocean, and ASEAN countries border Indo-Pacific waters, creating opportunities for maritime security, trade, and supply chain network cooperation.
  • India collaborates with ASEAN to create an open and inclusive Indo-Pacific, aligning with initiatives like the Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) and Security and Growth for All in the Region (SAGAR).
  • India and some ASEAN countries are part of the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).

5) Countering Chinese Dominance:

  • Maritime cooperation gains significance in response to China’s activities in the South China Sea.
  • India’s engagement in this area positions it to address China’s increasing dominance.

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