The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is getting increasingly assertive as a player in regional and world arenas. The group, which includes Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Viet Nam, Laos, Burma, Cambodia and Brunei, has focused on economic integration since as the 1990s. In 2003, it set the goal of forging the “ASEAN Community” by 2020. Furthermore, ASEAN sponsored the first East Asian Summit at the end of last year, gauging the qualifications of the participating nations with three preconditions: the participants must be ASEAN’s dialogue partners, they must have joined the Treaty of Amity and Co-operation in Southeast Asia and they must have substantial relations with ASEAN.
ASEAN a rising power
Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies Working Paper