[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index ][Thread Index ]


The South-east Asian reality (Business Times 28/4

THE decision by the United States to impose economic sanctions on Myanmar
is, in reality, a
move against Asean's in-principle agreement for Myanmar's entry. 

But to Asean, applying pressure on Myanmar is clearly not the best way to
prod Myanmar
towards political reform. Asean is adamant that the US does not interfere in
a country's domestic
affairs. Granting Myanmar an earlier entry would be a more constructive way. 

Another reason why Asean objects to the move by the US is that Asean's final
objective is to
increase its members to 10 so as to gain better standing in international
politics. With membership
increased to 10 countries, Asean would have total population of 450 million
and gross domestic
product of US$500 billion (S$720 billion). Collectively, it will become a
force to be reckoned with. 

The international standing of South-east Asian countries has increased
manyfold since the Cold War
ended. Sparing no efforts to net more participants is a concrete move
towards protecting Asean's
interest through collective efforts. 

It is futile for any superpower to try to prevent the inevitable. 

Lianhe Zaobao, Apr 28