A seminar on Southeast Asian Perspectives on U.S.-China Competition was held at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore, April 3-5, 2016. Organized by the Lowy Institute of Australia and the US Council for Foreign Relations, the meeting discussed the future of regional trade and investment architecture, regional maritime issues, transnational security issues, and the future of ASEAN, zeroing in on the cooperation-competition dynamic in US-China relations and how ASEAN and its member states were responding to this.
The keynote address was delivered by Tommy Koh, Ambassador-at-large of Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and an expert on the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. Prof Baviera was asked to speak at a panel on the future of ASEAN, where she emphasized the importance of ASEAN – despite its disunity and even marginalization in light of the resurgence of great power competition – to bringing regional and extra-regional states back to the path of moderation and multilateralism.
Later in the month, Singapore’s Institute for Southeast Asian Studies and La Trobe University of Australia organized a follow-up workshop to their previous assessment of security cooperation in the East Asia Summit. Held on April 29, participants debated the implications of strategic tensions on the future of the EAS, which is a meeting of the heads of states of ASEAN countries, together with eight dialogue partners, Australia, China, Japan, India, New Zealand, Russia, South Korea and the United States. Prof Baviera was asked to speak on the topic of bilateral and multilateral approaches to regional conflict management.