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EAS in 2017: Disarming Democracy in Asia Pacific

The East Asia Summit (EAS) held its first meeting in 2005, according to the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, ‘for dialogue on broad strategic, political and economic issues of common interest and concern with the aim of promoting peace, stability and economic prosperity’. The use of such terms obscures fundamental biases in support of policies of militarism, and the economic policies of liberalization, deregulation and privatization in the Asia-Pacific, policies which ruling elites frame as solutions to the complex geopolitical problems in the region.

This policy brief outlines significant problems in some of the EAS priority areas, with a focus on the development impact of economic and security policies. Decisions by Asia-Pacific ‘middle states’ (i.e., most Southeast Asian countries) on these issues are influenced by considerations of their self-positioning vis-à-vis competing dominant states in the region: the US and China. The policy brief also points to principles towards a people-centered regional integration.

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Contents

Introduction

EAS/ASEAN and RCEP: Integration without Democratization

EAS/ASEAN and the US: Facilitating Militarization

Towards Democracy in Asia: People-Centered Regional Integration
 

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