Asean’s Inclusive Regionalism a Precious Asset Amid Pandemic and US-China Tensions: Experts

Amid the disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and escalating US-China tensions, Asean’s brand of inclusive regionalism – where it puts both minds and resources together to solve common challenges – remains a critical asset.

This was the key conclusion drawn by panellists at a webinar, Covid-19 In Asia: Navigating Geopolitical Risks Amid Unprecedented Disruptions, yesterday. The webinar was jointly organised by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Indonesia’s Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), and Japan’s National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.  The discussion was moderated by RSIS Senior Fellow Kwa Chong Guan, with RSIS  Executive Deputy Chairman and veteran Diplomat Ong Keng Yong making brief welcome remarks.

In her opening speech, RSIS international relations professor Mely Caballero-Anthony said that since the start of the Trump administration, the United States “has rapidly become more isolationist, protectionist, less interested in multilateralism, and visibly absent in the global arena”.