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ASEAN objects, China wants Myanmar junta to join summit

Context:

A Chinese envoy has lobbied Southeast Asian nations to let Myanmar’s military ruler attend a regional summit being hosted by China’s President next week but has met stiff opposition.

Relevance:

GS-II: International Relations (India’s Neighbors, Important International Groupings, Foreign Policies affecting India’s Interests)   

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)
  2. Developments in the Myanmar Coup
  3. About the recent call on ASEAN participation

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

  • The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional intergovernmental organization comprising Ten Countries in Southeast Asia.
  • In 1967 ASEAN was established with the signing of the ASEAN Declaration (Bangkok Declaration) by its founding fathers: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand.
  • ASEAN is headquartered in Jakarta, Indonesia.
  • The motto of ASEAN is “One Vision, One Identity, One Community”.
  • 8th August is observed as ASEAN Day.
  • Chairmanship of ASEAN rotates annually, based on the alphabetical order of the English names of Member States.
  • ASEAN is the 3rd largest market in the world – larger than EU and North American markets.
  • A major partner of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, ASEAN maintains a global network of alliances and dialogue partners and is considered by many as the central union for cooperation in Asia-Pacific.
  • Members of ASEAN
    1. Indonesia
    2. Malaysia
    3. Philippines
    4. Singapore
    5. Thailand
    6. Brunei
    7. Vietnam
    8. Laos
    9. Myanmar
    10. Cambodia

ASEAN’s Objectives:

  • To promote intergovernmental cooperation and facilitates economic, political, security, military, educational, and sociocultural integration among its members and other countries in Asia.
  • To maintain close and beneficial cooperation with existing international and regional organisations.
  • To promote regional peace and stability through abiding respect for justice and the rule of law and adherence to the principles of the United Nations Charter.
  • To accelerate economic growth, social progress and cultural development for a prosperous and peaceful community of Southeast Asian Nations.

Developments in the Myanmar Coup

  • The February Coup triggered a massive uprising, bringing hundreds of thousands of protesters to the streets to demand a return to democracy, while civil servants have boycotted work in a bid to shutter the junta’s administration.
  • The military has deployed lethal force to quell the anti-coup movement, killing more than 720 people.
  • The international community has largely condemned the generals for use of force against unarmed civilians — imposing targeted sanctions against top military brass, their families and army-linked businesses.
  • The military chief’s invitation to the meeting of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations has drawn scorn from activists and former lawmakers who have urged foreign leaders not to formally recognise the junta.

About the recent call on ASEAN participation

  • Myanmar’s standing as a member of the 10-country Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has been thrown into the spotlight by a coup, when its military ousted the elected government of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, sparking bloody turmoil.
  • In an unprecedented decision, ASEAN leaders blocked Myanmar’s military chief, Senior General Min Aung Hlaing, from an ASEAN summit.
  • Four diplomatic and political sources in the region said Indonesia, Brunei, Malaysia and Singapore wanted Gen. Min Aung Hlaing to be banned from a China-ASEAN meeting being hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping.

-Source: The Hindu


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