ASEAN navies ‘without joint defence strategies’

By Sarosh Bana*

THE 10-member ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), with a combined GDP of $2.56 trillion and population of 639 million, turned 50 on 8 August. This bloc of rich and poor nations, comprising Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, abuts on to a littoral rendered volatile by a confrontational China determined to dominate the South and East China Seas and beyond, and an intransigent North Korea that unreservedly flaunts its nuclear and conventional clout.

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