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Asean has spoken on the Indo-Pacific - now it must act on it

Regional grouping needs to show that it can truly be a master of its own destiny and an effective bridge in regional affairs.

Asean will look back at the unveiling of its Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP) at the 34th Asean Summit in Bangkok as a moment of truth.

The 10-member regional grouping deserves credit for shedding light on its collective views on the Indo-Pacific - one of many sources of friction between the United States and China. While the AOIP broadly agrees with the propositions put forth by Australia, India, Japan and the US in viewing the Asia-Pacific and Indian Ocean regions as a seamless maritime space, it was also quick to stress that it is Asean that bridges the two entities.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 27, 2019, with the headline 'Asean has spoken on the Indo-Pacific - now it must act on it'. Subscribe