Research Fellow Dr. Charmaine Willoughby attended the 11th ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Dialogue on behalf of APPFI. The conversations focused on China’s soft power influences in the region, strategies to manage great power relations and overcome barriers to trade, and democracy in Southeast Asia. The Dialogue also featured perspectives of young delegates and scholars on the trilateral relationship.

Dr. Willoughby focused her intervention on the labels we attach to ASEAN’s dialogue partners. Whether or not Australia and New Zealand are “stakeholders” or “external players” depends not only on how ASEAN perceives them, but also on the role they see themselves playing in the region. She also addressed the skepticism surrounding ASEAN centrality and argued that such is symptomatic of the need for the regional organization to confront the fluid dynamics in the international community.

The ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Dialogue is organised in collaboration by partners ASEAN-ISISAsialink at the University of Melbourne and the Asia New Zealand Foundation. The sessionsfor this year  were: 

  • Session 1: China’s Growing Influence in Southeast Asia and Oceania
  • Session 2: Managing Relations with the United States, China and other Major Players
  • Session 3: Economic Diplomacy and Trade Strategies
  • Session 4: Australia and New Zealand in Asia - Regional Stakeholders or External Players?
  • Session 5: Evolving Democratic and Liberal Dynamics within Southeast Asia - Its Impact on ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners
  • Perspectives on ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Cooperation and Challenges - Young Delegates/Scholars