Asean at 55

Asean needs to confront two key issues

As the regional grouping turns 55 on Aug 8, it faces two big tests – what to do with Myanmar and the intensifying US-China contest. Its centrality is at stake.

Cambodian dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the 55th Asean Foreign Ministers Meeting in Phnom Penh, on Aug 3, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Asean has undeniably come a long way in keeping the peace within South-east Asia for the past 55 years. Yet some say that the grouping is at its weakest point in its history.

The Covid-19 pandemic, the Myanmar crisis, the Russia-Ukraine war, intensified US-China rivalry, sustained inflationary pressures, disrupted supply chains and climate change are some challenges that Asean members are facing.

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