What Factors Help to Maintain Regional Security in East Asia in the Short Term and in the Long Term?
The security of the East Asia region depends on future developments in its international and intercontinental relationships with the other countries with which it is bound in trade agreements and with the nations who have a vested interest in the development of that region: this combined and seemingly complex process is namely the outcome of political globalization of the region in the short- and long-terms.
Seger states that three important aspects of change caused by political globalization are: the principle of state sovereignty, the impact of intergovernmental organization; and, the prospect of future regional and global governance: alongside developments in environmental policies, which is less relevant for the current argument (Chapter 4).
The security of the East Asia region is particularly reliant on globalization’s push toward global governance and the rise in regional blocs, the influence of international organizations. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was founded in 1967 to provide economic and intramural integration for its, now ten, members in the creation of a wider community. Now in its sixth decade, the ASEAN has had a checkered past, Jones and Smith forward that academic writers on the región agree that ASEAN is really based on the “collective weakness of the states that formed it” and their work introduces “China's growing enthusiasm for normalizing regional relations” through ASEAN’s projects. (153)
Jörg Friedrichs addresses this in detail: “Over the past 15 years, China has increasingly assumed the role of external sponsor of non-traditional security cooperation in the framework of the China-ASEAN Special Relationship.” (771)
After Vince Scappatura we learn that regional security can be achieved in the short term by creating and upholding a status quo while in the long term it may require deeper, structural changes in local and other relationships. In the terms of East Asia, this means the relationship ASEAN has with both China, and other Asian and Pacific countries on one hamd, and with the United States, on the other. ASEAN had special relationships with both China and the US. Trade agreements created the ASEAN Plus Three, China, Korea and Japan.
ASEAN had gone as far holding the ASEAN-US Special Leaders Summit in 2026, but President Trump, after having withdrawn the US from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on January 23, 2017, has brought a much increased risk of insecurity in the East Asia región. ASEAN has been observed to be a success stories in global economics: the region became was the seventh-largest economic power in 2014. This factor may be offset by the successfull implementation of the proposed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement between ASEAN and the six states with which it has existing free trade agreements: Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand.
Friedrichs, Jörg. “East Asian Regional Security.” Asian Survey, Vol. 52 (4), July/August, 2012, 754-776.
Jones, David Martin and Michael L. R. Smith. “Making Process, Not Progress: ASEAN and the …