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)|
|About||A political and economic organization focused on promoting economic growth and regional stability among its members.|
|Foundation||Founded in 1967 by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand.|
|Member states||Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.|
|Expansion||Brunei joined in 1984, Vietnam in 1995, Lao PDR and Myanmar in 1997, and Cambodia in 1999, totalling ten member states.|
|ASEAN plus Three||A forum coordinating cooperation between ASEAN and the East Asian nations of China, South Korea, and Japan.|
|ASEAN plus Six||Includes ASEAN Plus Three as well as India, Australia, and New Zealand.|
|ASEAN Summit||The highest policy-making body in ASEAN, comprising the Heads of States or Government of ASEAN Member States.|
|Summit Frequency||Held twice annually.|
|First ASEAN Summit||Held in Bali, Indonesia in 1976.|
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.
|EAST ASIA SUMMIT (EAS)|
|About||· Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue.|
· Leader-led forum for discussing political, security, and economic challenges in the region.
|Origin||· Concept promoted in 1991 by then-Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad.|
|Members||· Total of 18 member countries.|
· ASEAN Members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam.
· Other Members: Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, United States.
· India is one of the founding members.
|Leadership & Chair position||· ASEAN leads the forum.|
· 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’s 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 – 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.