Asan Plenum

Session: Session 5 / Grand Ballroom III
Date/Time: May 1, 2013 / 14:00-15:15

Panel Description

Despite various phases of confrontation and accommodation between China and ASEAN, strong economic ties have brought enormous prosperity to both sides. However, territorial disputes and China’s increasingly assertive economic and diplomatic push into the region are likely to test the durability of the status quo. In addition, the “pivot” by the United States is already complicating the China-ASEAN relationship, as ASEAN countries lean toward either superpower. Many Chinese view Southeast Asia as part of their natural sphere of influence, much as the Americans views Latin and South America. This panel will examine the long-term ambitions of China towards ASEAN countries and how ASEAN and its members are likely to respond. Mutual perceptions will be an important element in understanding the future of this relationship.

Guiding Questions

  1. What are the internal disagreements among ASEAN countries vis-à-vis China?
  2. In the event of a US-China confrontation, would ASEAN survive as a collective organization?
  3. What are the competing views and interests held by China and ASEAN surrounding South China Sea issues? Can we reasonably expect progress on these issues in the future?