Chapter 10 Change and Impact amidst the Ukraine War: ASEAN and its Relations with China and the US
Division of Chinese Politics, Military and Warfighting Concepts
Huang Chung Ting Associate Research Fellow
PDF link:第十章 變局與變數：俄烏戰爭下東協與美中關係之走勢.pdf
ASEAN, which has trumpeted the principle of renunciation of the threat or use of force, as stipulated in Article 2 of the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (TAC), has not yet expressed a deep commitment to the article since the outbreak of the Russian Invasion of Ukraine. Although ASEAN has suffered from soaring resource prices and supply chain shortages of raw material, the political support for Russia from ASEAN remain unchanged. Thankfully, the concept of ASEAN Centrality, which endorses the principle of promoting cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region with ASEAN-led mechanisms, would be kept from harm as ASEAN accepted Ukraine’s accession to the TAC.
Since 2022, the Biden administration has added new momentum to the U.S.-ASEAN relationship with a particular emphasis on maritime cooperation. In addition, with Cerberus Capital Management’s successful takeover of the shipyard previously run by Hanjin Philippines in Subic Bay, the public-private partnership model that could be widely used in infrastructure building to support the goal of U.S. Indo Pacific Strategy is promising. As for China, which echoes the idea of ASEAN Centrality, it is set to propose a motion to impeach the United States by manipulating the Treaty on the Southeast Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. However, not only the joint maritime exercises between China and ASEAN states that seem to have become a mere formality but also the continued delay in finalizing a code of conduct in the South China Sea demonstrates innate geographical contradictions among littoral states of the South China Sea.
With the chaos of the Russian-Ukraine conflict and the crisis in the Taiwan Strait, the government of Taiwan should take seriously think about evolving the New Southbound Policy into a framework that could coordinate defense policy and foreign policy and strengthen the relationship with like-minded countries in ASEAN.