By Invitation

Australia and Asean can do more to face up to realities

The recent Sydney summit is flashy but fails to seriously confront the big challenge of changing power dynamics in Asia

ST ILLUSTRATION: CEL GULAPA
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Inviting the leaders of South-east Asia for the first time to an Asean-Australia Special Summit in Australia marks an important shift in Canberra's thinking about how to manage its many foreign policy challenges.

It shows that Canberra is starting at last to think about what it should do as it becomes increasingly clear America will not remain Asia's dominant power for long, and US power and influence wanes.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 27, 2018, with the headline Australia and Asean can do more to face up to realities. Subscribe