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- United States
- South China Sea
- Min Aung Hlaing
- Ko Jimmy
China seeks to dominate the SCS region while avoiding direct military confrontation by using economic engagement to fracture ASEAN unity.
When the dust finally settles in Myanmar, its people will rightly ask who sustained the reviled military regime. Right now, the answer is that Beijing offered ‘friendship’ to the coup-makers, an irony for a Communist Party so committed to regime and institutional stability.
As the largest trading bloc, RCEP offers tariff adjustments, dispute settlement mechanisms and trade remedies that induce better cooperation and commitment to achieve common objectives. All ASEAN members and five external partners — Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand — have signed it.
Indonesia has used backdoor shuttle diplomacy to encourage stakeholders to mediate and facilitate an inclusive national dialogue in Myanmar. The question is whether this approach can dissolve hostility in Myanmar.
The most likely outcome in Myanmar is that longstanding hesitation about entanglement in a wider war will discourage foreign players from taking more aggressive, interventionist approaches.
Conflict in Myanmar and Ukraine against a backdrop of U.S.‑China tension – a crowded agenda will unfold in coming weeks.