Asean needs 'strategic maturity' to solve disputes
Cheryl Arcibal (The Philippine Star) - May 23, 2014 - 12:33pm

MANILA, Philippines - With its booming economies and rising population, Asia's multilateral institutions, particularly those of Association of Southeast Asian Nations, need to adapt and mature to contend with various issues.

Parag Khanna, senior fellow at the New America Foundation, said ASEAN should develop strategic maturity to deal with territorial disputes as well as taking advantage of various economic opportunities.

ASEAN members, including Vietnam and the Philippines, are locked in territorial disputes with China, the world's second-largest economy and a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations.

Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Laura del Rosario, however, said the uneven development, different economic and political systems, and various domestic forces  in each of the 10 members of ASEAN pose a challenge for the organization.

Meanwhile, Samuel J. Locklear III, Commander of the US Pacific Command, said territorial rows in the region could be traced to two factors: the rise of China and the region's rapid economic growth.

He said it is important that countries in the region maintain the status quo until there is a legal basis to mark which territory belongs to whom.

ASEAN ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS ECONOMIC FOREIGN AFFAIRS UNDERSECRETARY LAURA LOCKLEAR NEW AMERICA FOUNDATION PACIFIC COMMAND PARAG KHANNA SAMUEL J SECURITY COUNCIL OF THE UNITED NATIONS VIETNAM AND THE PHILIPPINES
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