16th East Asia Summit

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    • Recently, the Indian Prime Minister spoke about Global Value Chains, during ASEAN – East Asia Summit virtual summit on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit with the leaders.

    16th East Asia Summit

    • Hosted by:
      • Brunei as EAS and ASEAN Chair.
    • Overall Focus: 
      • Importance of a resilient global value chain was highlighted. 
      • Discussed about important regional and international issues, including Indo-Pacific, South China Sea, UNCLOS, terrorism, and the situation in Korean Peninsula and Myanmar.
      • EAS leaders adopted three statements on mental health, economic recovery through tourism and sustainable recovery, which have been co-sponsored by India.
    • India’s Focus: 
      • India stressed the importance of Free, Open and Inclusive Indo-Pacific and raised the idea of developing global standards on cybersecurity.
      • Reaffirmed the importance of EAS as the premier leaders-led forum in the Indo-Pacific, bringing together nations to discuss important strategic issues.
      • Reiterated its support of $1 million to “ASEAN Covid Recovery Fund” and raised the idea of developing global standards on cyber security.
      • India’s commitment to provide Quad-sponsored vaccines to Indo-Pacific nations was reiterated.
      • ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ campaign was talked about for post-pandemic recovery and in ensuring resilient global value chains. 
      • There is a need for establishment of a better balance between economy and ecology and climate sustainable lifestyle.”
      • “ASEAN centrality” in the Indo-Pacific was reaffirmed and the synergies between ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific (AOIP) and India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI) were highlighted.

    East Asia Summit(EAS)

    • Origin:
      • The concept of East Asia Grouping was first promoted in 1991 by the then Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir bin Mohamad. 
    • Formed: 
      • Established in 2005, it is the Indo-Pacific’s premier forum for strategic dialogue. 
    • Different from rest:
      • It is the only leader-led forum at which all key partners meet to discuss political, security and economic challenges facing the Indo-Pacific.
    • Membership:
      • Apart from the 10 ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member states, the East Asia Summit includes India, China, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Russia.
    • Leader: 
      • ASEAN leads the forum, and the chair position rotates between the ASEAN Member States annually. 
    • India: 
      • India is one of the founding members of the East Asia Summit.

    Image Courtesy: Khmerization

    Importance of East Asia:

    • Important Nations: The eastern region of Asia consists of the Asian nations, Greater China (Greater China consists of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.
    • Economic benefit: It represents nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population with 20 percent of global trade, and comprising 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development.
    • Regional Security: Considering tension on the Korean Peninsula, South China and in the Taiwan Strait, among others, it is vital for Japan, China and South Korea to maintain a common stance and to share a common concern for security in the East Asian region.
    • Global Implications: An East Asia community would play a big role in instilling a sense of responsibility in Asian countries and in leading them jointly in contributing to the resolution of global issues.

    Way Ahead

    • ASEAN will continue to maintain its central role in the evolving regional architecture in Southeast Asia and its surrounding regions.
    • ASEAN mechanisms like the East Asia Summit (EAS) should be regarded as a viable regional architecture platform for the Indo-Pacific region. 
    • ASEAN countries need to work to restore the ‘ASEAN centrality and unity’ through the strategic environment of competing interests.

    Source: IE