East Asian Regionalism: The Macroregional Dimensions of Relations
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This chapter presents macroregional dimension of East Asian regionalism. In this context, two structures that are the base of relations in the region are described: APT and EAS.
KeywordsKorean Peninsula ASEAN Community Framework Agreement Doha Round Joint Declaration
5.1 The Evolution of Cooperation Within the Framework of ASEAN Plus Three and East Asian ASEAN Plus One Summits
The ASEAN+3 structure (APT, ASEAN Plus Three), comprising all East Asia’s analysed countries, is a formal region established as a result of transformation processes in the second half of the last decade of the twentieth century. In practice, APT originates from the concept proposed by Malaysia in the early 1990s—EAEG, which was renamed EAEC by Indonesia (see Sect. 2.3). In accordance with the will expressed by ASEAN countries, during the Fifth Summit held in December 1995, Singapore’s prime minister Goh Chok Tong made a proposal to invite Japan, China and South Korea to the Association’s next summit (scheduled in 12 or 18 months, and the first informal summit) (ASEAN 1995). Thus, it was a concrete proposal in terms of the participants of the meeting, its venue as well as organisational matters. In July 1996, during the 29th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting (AMM) held in Jakarta, Malaysia’s foreign minister Ali Alatas presented a document related to the EAEC concept in which he recommended that the planned First Informal Summit follow the “7+3+3” formula. The additional participants included Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar—the countries which aspired to membership in ASEAN (Terada 2003). However, the meeting was not attended by all the invited parties due to the lack of consensus among ASEAN member states as well as time limits.
The Second Informal ASEAN Summit was scheduled for the end of 1997. In January 1997, Japan’s prime minister Ryūtarō Hashimoto, during his visit to ASEAN countries, proposed holding an additional ASEAN–Japan Summit. 1 Prime minister Hashimoto sought ASEAN’s support for Japan’s crisis-hit economy in face of China’s increasing economic and political power. 2 In response to Japan’s proposal, ASEAN countries—attempting to avoid the negative consequences of disregarding the two powers of East Asia’s north subregion—expressed their will to invite Chinese and South Korean representatives to attend the Summit. The formal decision in this matter, as well as with regard to the accession of CLM countries, was made at the end of May 1997. 3 The final compromise reached by ASEAN countries resulted in holding three separate summits attended by each country of the North, and, separately, one common EAS (the decision was made at the Second ASEAN Informal Summit held from 14 to 16 December 1997). It can be concluded that Hashimoto’s doctrine—as planned by its creator—led to establishing ASEAN−Japan Summits, but it also resulted in the APT First Summit (Tanaka 2007). 4
In this context, it is worth mentioning that ASEAN leaders decided to develop an outline for the structure of ASEAN+3 before the outbreak of the Asian financial crisis. This is a significant fact because cooperation in East Asia’s entire territory was directly driven by political regionalism and security issues rather than by the intention to tighten economic links. However, the Asian crisis had a major impact on intensifying intraregional cooperation, justifying this form of mutual contacts. Consequently, in the context of the failure to establish the AMF (right after the outbreak of the crisis), and contrary to the original plans to focus the summit debates on diplomatic issues, the First APT Summit was dominated by discussions related to the rapidly deteriorating financial crisis. However, apart from the fact that the Second Informal ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur proposed the ASEAN Vision 2020, it did not lead to any significant resolutions or agreements adopted by a larger composition of participants extended by the ASEAN+3 structure. Simultaneously, the personal changes of government leaders in most East Asia’s crisis-stricken countries 5 offered new opportunities for intraregional cooperation. 6
The Second APT Summit was held in Hanoi in December 1998, accompanying the Sixth ASEAN Summit. It was a breakthrough event in terms of APT’s institutionalisation process. The participants decided to establish regular ASEAN+3 Summits, accompanying all ASEAN summits (official and informal). In addition to that, Kim Dae-jung proposed establishing the East Asia Vision Group (EAVG)—a group composed of outstanding intellectuals from APT countries, acting as an ASEAN+3 group of advisors for creating long-term visions for the region’s revitalisation and mutual economic cooperation. Relevant recommendations were to be presented at the Fifth APT Summit in 2001. Another step in the process of ASEAN+3’s institutionalisation was a proposal made by Hu Jintao to hold meetings of East Asian financial experts. 7 Simultaneously, Japan proposed establishing the New Miyazawa Initiative—financial support offered to crisis-hit countries in the amount of USD 30 billion (see Sect. 2.3). However, the term “ASEAN plus 3” came into common use after the first meeting of the vice-ministers of finance and representatives of APT central banks, held in March 1999 (during which a consent was given to monitoring short-term capital transfers) (Dent 2008).
The Third APT Summit, held in November 1999, and accompanying the Third Informal ASEAN Summit, was hosted by Philippines. The objective proposed by Philippines—establishing a single market and a monetary union (with a single East Asian currency) as well as an East Asian Community—turned out to be premature, and it did not gain general support. 8 The Summit adopted a Declaration on cooperation in East Asia (APT 1999). The document comprised two groups of commitments. The first one referred to economic and social issues. ASEAN+3 countries made a commitment to engage in cooperation in six areas: economic issues, monetary and financial matters, human resource and social development, culture and information, scientific and technological development and general development programmes. The other group was related to political and other relations. ASEAN+3 leaders decided to strengthen cooperation in resolving political, security and transnational issues with a view to increasing mutual understanding and finding common solutions to existing problems. They also agreed to intensify cooperation and increase coordination in relations with international organisations including the UN, the WTO, APEC and ASEM. Responsibility for implementing these commitments was vested in the hands of the foreign ministers of ASEAN+3 countries.
The Summit in Manila did not adopt any significant declarations, but the above presented commitments point to a very wide scope of cooperation undertaken by the new regional structure. Therefore, the Summit was followed by a series of ministerial meetings and the enlargement of the institution structure of ASEAN+3. It was clearly visible that cooperation referred mainly to economic and social issues, which was quite obvious in the context of the Asian crisis as well as historical and political antagonisms among member states (especially “plus three” countries). With regard to the “antagonisms”, it should be stressed that the Third APT Summit was a breakthrough change in the relations among Northeast Asian countries, which held their first three-party meeting. The concept proposed by Japan’s prime minister Obuchi to hold separate meetings for the leaders of East Asia’s three northern nations was approved by the remaining parties. Consequently, APT Summits contributed to future Japan–China–Korea meetings.
The Fourth APT Summit was held in Singapore in November 2000, parallel to the Fourth Informal ASEAN Summit. The leaders of “plus three” countries supported the Association’s ASEAN Integration Initiative, expressing their intention to establish the Asian IT Belt, connecting East Asian cities. The representatives of China and Japan made a commitment to provide financial support, while South Korea offered HR and IT training programmes and announced its participation in the e-ASEAN Framework Agreement, adopted by ASEAN countries at the Summit held in Singapore (ASEAN 2000a, b). These endeavours aimed to narrow economic gaps. It is worth a while to refer to the previously mentioned fact—during the Summit China’s prime minister Rongji Zhu made a proposal to appoint a group of experts for strengthening economic cooperation and establishing an FTA. At the Fourth APT Summit, the leaders of ASEAN+3 countries supported Kim Dae-jung’s proposal to establish the East Asia Study Group (EASG). It was to be composed of APT high ranking officials (one representative of each country) and the secretary general of ASEAN. EASG was implemented in March 2001, and it was assigned the task of preparing reports (to be submitted at the Sixth APT summit in November 2002) on two issues: an assessment of EAVG recommendations and an analysis of the impact of EASs on regional transformation processes (APT 2002). 9
The East Asian Vision Group’s report was submitted at the Fifth APT Summit held in Bandar Seri Begawan in November 2001. Its main objective was to outline a vision for the East Asian community, which would inspire the region’s nations and governments. The implementation process was based on achieving five goals: preventing conflicts and promoting peace in East Asia; supporting economic cooperation in trade, finance and investments; increasing common prosperity through cooperation in education and human resource development; strengthening inhabitants’ security (through regional activities related to environmental protection and good governance) and promoting the East Asian Community’s identity (APT 2001). The report identified five cooperation areas. The first one related to economic issues and focused on the following activities: facilitating trade in accordance with Bogor goals and establishing the East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA), establishing the East Asia Investment Area (EAIA) through implementing the Framework Agreement on AIA in the entire territory, supporting cooperation in technologies and economic development (especially in the least developed countries), creating knowledge-based economies and economies oriented on future economic structures (development of nanotechnology, biotechnology and IT), harmonising internet and e-trade applications (through protecting intellectual property rights). The second group of EAVG objectives related to finance. The Vision Group proposed implementing agreements on regional financial self-help programmes and coordinating exchange rate mechanisms (to maintain financial stability). It also recommended strengthening a regional monitoring and supervision system (in support of the global supervision exercised by the IMF). Also, a positive assessment was given to the Chiang Mai Initiative of May 2000.
The third area of cooperation identified by EAVG’s report was politics and security. Its main objective was to implement the concept of the East Asian Community characterised by peace, stability and cooperation, and free from military conflicts, hostilities and violence. The implementation of this vision was to be achieved through the following activities: promoting procedures, standards and mechanisms of good neighbourliness, solidarity and trust; identifying new challenges related to the region’s peace and stability (territorial disputes, rivalry for resources, international terrorism and transactional crime); institutionalising regional dialogue (establishing regular meetings of foreign ministers); strengthening East Asia’s position in expressing its views on international matters and increasing its contribution to creating a new global order. Moreover, a very significant aspect of the report—in the context of further changes to East Asia’s regionalism process—was the proposal to transform APT Summits into the EAS.
Cooperation in the area of environmental and energy-related issues was another area identified in EAVG’s report. It related to the need for institutionalising relevant activities, ensuring more effective management of water and fish resources, exploring new sources of energy, adopting a regional agreement on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy, protecting forests and introducing forestation systems, reducing transborder pollution and introducing educational programmes for young people in environmental issues. The last group of issues related to social, cultural and educational problems. The Vision Group recommended the following activities: reducing poverty and illiteracy, providing easier access to basic medical services, implementing a comprehensive human resource development system (focused on training systems and elementary education—establishing the East Asian Education Fund) and promoting regional identity. This group of activities aimed at improving the quality of life of East Asia’s inhabitants (APT 2001).
In accordance with the previous agreements, the participants of the Sixth APT Summit, held in Phnom Penh in November 2002, discussed the report of the EASG. EASG regarded EAVG recommendations to be beneficial in implementing the vision of East Asia as a peaceful, progressive and prosperous region, and identified 26 specific activities. The majority of EASG recommendations followed the report of EAVG. Seventeen of them were presented as short-term activities, while the remaining nine recommendations were to be implemented as mid- and long-term goals (see APT 2002). The report of the Study Group—a group composed of politicians—was certainly a significant step in the process of setting trends in the evolution of East Asian regionalism, expressing the common will to implement the adopted solutions. However, the significance of a number of key recommendations was decreased by their qualification as mid- and long-term goals (especially the concept of the EAFTA).
The Sixth APT Summit and the Eighth ASEAN Summit, held in Cambodia’s Phnom Penh in November 2002, was accompanied by the ASEAN−China Summit. The main objective of this meeting—held in accordance with the ASEAN+1 formula—was to discuss prime minister Zhu’s proposal (made two years earlier, and also discussed at the 2001 Summit) to establish the ACFTA within a period of one decade. To achieve this goal, the two parties signed a framework agreement on ASEAN–China Economic Cooperation, in which China made a commitment to grant preferential treatment to CLMV countries. The Early Harvest Programme, an integral part of the agreement (Art. 6), recommended accelerated trade liberalisation with regard to the first eight chapters of combined nomenclature (ASEAN 2002a). ASEAN leaders invited China to participate in other subregional cooperation programmes (apart from the Greater Mekong Subregion), including the Southern Growth Triangle and the East ASEAN Growth Area (ASEAN 2002c). The two parties signed two declarations. The first one was the DOC in which the signatories agreed to seek peaceful solutions to territorial disputes (without the threat or use of force), and to refrain from any activity that would have a destabilising effect on the region (including uninhabited islands, reefs and shoals) (ASEAN 2002c). The second document adopted in Phnom Penh was the Joint ASEAN–China Declaration on cooperation in non-traditional security issues.
China’s increased activity in relations with ASEAN, and, in particular, the implementation of ACFTA (announced in the previous year), led to individual efforts made by other countries of the north subregion, aimed to strengthen relations with ASEAN. The first initiative was proposed by Japan’s prime minister Junichiro Koizumi in January 2002 concerning the establishment of a comprehensive economic partnership. It led to the ASEAN−Japan Summit, accompanying the Eighth ASEAN Summit held in November 2002, during which the parties signed a joint declaration on behalf of ASEAN leaders and Japan. The partnership agreement announced the possibility of establishing an FTA within a period of one decade, considering the interests of each party’s sensitive sectors as well as differences in the levels of economic advancement. The document announced setting up a special Committee which was obligated to prepare and submit a relevant report at the next summit meeting to be held in 2003 (ASEAN-Japan 2002).
The Ninth ASEAN Summit and the Seventh APT Summit held in October 2003 led to three individual meetings between ASEAN and “plus three” countries, as well as a three-party meeting of Northeast Asian countries. The most significant effect of Bali meetings, apart from the unanimous approval given to the Bali Concord II, was China’s decision to join the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. Consequently, the PRC was the first Dialogue Partner to become a party to the TAC. The two parties adopted a joint declaration on a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity, in which they announced strengthening economic cooperation and undertaking the following activities: cooperating in five key industries (agriculture, informatics and telecommunication, human resource development, mutual investment projects and the development of the Mekong River Basin), strengthening social cooperation (public health, education and environmental protection), cooperating in political and security issues as well as participating in regional and international cooperation programmes (China gave its full support to the membership of Laos and Vietnam in the WTO, and expressed its intention to implement DOC agreements) (ASEAN-China 2003).
During the above mentioned bilateral summits, ASEAN made two significant proposals to Japan and South Korea: establishing an FTA and the accession of the two countries to the TAC. 10 Therefore, it can be concluded that the Association adopted similar policies in its relations with the three nations of the north subregion, making simultaneous efforts to retain its position as a “hub” in the East Asian region. ASEAN’s regional strength did not lie in its economic potential but in the general weakness of political relations among “plus three” countries. 11 The countries of Northeast Asia adopted a declaration on promoting three-party cooperation, and they expressed their satisfaction with the pace of strengthening mutual relations since 1999, announcing cooperation in priority areas 12 as well as the promotion of bilateral relations (PT 2003).
ASEAN’s strategy was indirectly confirmed during the Eighth APT Summit held in Vientiane in 2004. 13 Chinese, Japanese and Korean leaders stated their position on this strategy, supporting ASEAN as the major driving force of East Asia’s cooperation process (APT 2004). Simultaneously, ASEAN countries expressed their recognition of contributions made by the particular “plus three” countries. For example, Japan gained recognition for signing the ASEAN–Japan Declaration (December 2003) on a dynamic and lasting partnership in the new millennium (the Tokyo Declaration), commemorating the 30th anniversary of establishing the ASEAN−Japan dialogue (and the adoption of the action plan). Also, the Association celebrated the anniversary of its dialogue relations with South Korea (lasting for half of that period). To mark the occasion, the member states adopted a joint declaration on a comprehensive partnership, expressing hope to approve an action plan in the following year. 14 Again, ASEAN’s activities reflected its intention to carry out parallel activities in relations with north subregion countries, which was additionally confirmed by the Association’s readiness to start negotiations (also in 2005) on establishing the ASEAN–ROK Free Trade Area (AKFTA) (ASEAN-ROK 2004). With regard to China, ASEAN leaders expressed their recognition of China’s support for CLM’s membership in the ASEM Forum, and reaffirmed their engagement in One-China Policy, stressing the fact that the stability of the Taiwan Strait was the common interest of all East Asian nations. The participants adopted an action plan for 2005−2010 in connection with the previous Declaration on a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity. The document identified specific areas of cooperation: politics and security (regular visits and contacts among country leaders, DOC implementation programmes and cooperation in non-traditional security); economic issues (ACFTA implementation, cooperation in finance, investments, transport, industrial development, energy, tourism, the ICT sector, the Mekong River Basin, the ASEAN East Growth Area and IAI); functional matters (cooperation in science and technology, education, culture, the media, public health, labour markets, environmental issues, local governments and interpersonal relations). The action plan also announced intensified regional and international cooperation (with APEC, the UN, and the WTO) (ASEAN-China 2004a). The parties adopted the Protocol on cooperation in the area of transport aimed to develop transport systems for the needs of the FTA—ACFTA (ASEAN-China 2004b).
Several aspects of the agreements adopted by 13 leaders at the Eighth APT Summit deserve special attention (APT 2004). The leaders stressed that the long-term goal of ASEAN+3 countries was the establishment of the East Asia Community, with APT being the major driving force in creating its future structure. The leaders reaffirmed their intention to narrow development gaps and expressed their satisfaction with the adoption of Vientiane Action Plan as well as the proposal to launch CLMV and CLV summits. They also expressed their intention to strengthen sectoral cooperation in the area of energy and finance as well as monetary and economic issues (ABMI, Asian Bond Market Initiative). In the context of implementing EAVG agreements (confirmed by EASG), two strategic decisions were made: a group of experts was set up to conduct a feasibility study for the needs of EAFTA, and EASs were announced (to be held in Malaysia in the following year).
The Malaysia Summit held in December 2005, in the context of the ninth meeting of ASEAN+3, resulted in the adoption of the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on APT Summits. The document reaffirmed a strong intention expressed by the signatories to implement a long-term East Asian Community vision, stressing the significance of ASEAN+3 as the main tool for achieving this goal. Again, ASEAN’s role was stressed as the main driving force of this process (with active participation of “plus three” countries). The Declaration reaffirmed the idea of holding annual APT Summits (combined with ASEAN Summits), stressing the significance of the ASEAN+1 process in developing cooperation within the framework of ASEAN+3. 15 The Declaration provided additional support for the integration process within ASEAN, especially in the context of development gaps (APT 2005a). The representatives of ASEAN+3 countries expressed satisfaction over closer financial cooperation (under the Chiang Mai Initiative and the Asian Bond Market) and its contribution to the region’s monetary and financial stability. They gave special attention to issues related to energy security, environmental protection, sustainable development, transport and communication. Also, the parties gave their approval to the full implementation of EASG short-term goals by 2007, and decided that the APT Summit in 2007 would adopt a second joint statement of ASEAN+3 countries on East Asian cooperation and further related activities (APT 2005b).
The Kuala Lumpur Summit in 2005, in accordance with the ASEAN+1 formula, identified five other priority areas of bilateral cooperation with the PRC: energy, transport, tourism, public health and culture. The leaders expressed their satisfaction with the implementation of ACFTA (since July 2005) with regard to trade in goods, and called for finalising negotiations on the liberalised movement of services and investment. Referring to the 15-year period of the partnership dialogue (to be celebrated in 2006), the Summit designated 2006 as the ASEAN–China Friendship and Cooperation Year (ASEAN-China 2005a). The ASEAN–China EPG, established in Vientiane in November 2004, submitted its report to the Summit. The report referred to the principle of two complementary paths of relations: multilateral and bilateral (a given ASEAN country–China), and stressed that the decision-making process related to further cooperation was based on consensus. The document presented a review of bilateral relations since 1991, and set directions for future short-, mid- and long-term cooperation goals in accordance with the pillars of the ASEAN Community (ASEAN-China 2005b). Within the framework of bilateral meetings with ASEAN, both China and Japan made a commitment to offer financial support to the Association. 16 Another effect of the ASEAN−Japan Summit was the announcement of strengthened bilateral cooperation in the area of energy, disaster management and counteracting international crime and terrorism (ASEAN-Japan 2005).
The 11th ASEAN Summit and the Ninth APT Summit, held in Malaysia’s capital in December 2005, were accompanied by the ASEAN−Republic of Korea (ROK) Summit. The parties adopted the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN countries and Korea, which entered into force in 2006. The Agreement, which aimed to implement AKFTA, announced closer cooperation in trade and investment, gradual liberalisation of trade in goods and services (considering the effective integration of ASEAN’s new member states and the narrowing of development gaps), as well as the identification of new areas for cooperation (ASEAN-ROK 2005b). In their endeavours to support the peaceful process in the Korean Peninsula, the parties agreed to incorporate goods manufactured in North Korea’s Kaesong Industrial Region (neighbouring South Korea) into their bilateral FTA. The parties stressed the significance of the SME sector in stimulating economic growth and job creation. Korea’s government expressed its intention to narrow the digital gap within ASEAN by providing inexpensive computers to rural areas (ASEAN-ROK 2005c).
The Tenth APT Summit was held in Cebu Island in January 2007. It reaffirmed the participants’ intention to issue a joint statement at the next meeting, which was to present a review of the previous decade’s achievements as well as strategic recommendations for the further development of ASEAN+3 with a view to creating an open form of regionalism (linked to other countries of the world) (APT 2007a). It was announced that APT would engage in new areas of activity (the role of women, disaster management, fossil fuels and counteracting poverty) as well as in implementing the Chiang Mai Initiative and the Asian Bond Market through supporting the effectively functioning bond markets in Asia. Referring to the concept of EAFTA, the participants recommended investigating other possible configurations of the FTA—for example, as part of the EAS framework. 17 Simultaneously, Korea’s proposal was accepted with regard to conducting a feasibility study for the needs of EAFTA, including a detailed sectoral analysis of FTA. ASEAN countries, on the other hand, referred to the successful implementation of bilateral FTAs with “plus three” countries as well as with India, Australia and New Zealand, and stressed FTA’s role in strengthening cooperation with Dialogue Partners and increasing ASEAN’s global competitiveness. The Association’s member states supported the collective leadership of “plus three” countries in the peaceful process and comprehensive dispute resolution in the Korean Peninsula and its denuclearisation.
At the Philippine summit, ASEAN countries expressed their approval of Korea’s activities aimed to narrow development gaps, accelerate integration processes within the Association and assist in completing the region’s key Singapore−Kunming rail connection (ASEAN-ROK 2007a). ASEAN countries submitted a request to Korea’s government for its assistance in implementing ASEAN subregional cooperation programmes and for sharing its best practice in SME activities in Southeast Asia. The Summit announced closer cooperation in energy-related issues and in counteracting organised crime, and it approved a feasibility study for the ASEAN−ROK Centre—a structure responsible for promoting mutual trade, investment, tourism and socio-cultural cooperation. In addition to that, Korea proposed establishing the APT Centre for the Gifted in Science.
Japan’s participants of the Cebu ASEAN−Japan Summit proposed establishing the previously mentioned ERIA. In March 2006, a new structure was established—the Japan–ASEAN Integration Fund (JAIF). Japan offered financial assistance in narrowing development gaps (USD 52 million) and made a commitment to increase its contribution to ODA aid programmes for the Mekong region during the period of subsequent three years (ASEAN−Japan 2007a). Japan’s engagement in ODA programmes clearly indicates this country’s intention to increase its presence in the region of Chinese influence. In order to strengthen its military position in the region, Japan decided to enter into closer cooperation with ASEAN countries in the area of maritime security (offering its modern equipment and trainings). Also, the parties declared their intention to adopt the ASEAN−Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership by April 2007 (AJCEP), expecting that its scope would include new areas of cooperation as compared with bilateral relations specified under Japan’s Economic Partnership Agreements with ASEAN’s particular countries.
The ASEAN−China Summit of January 2007 adopted the Action Plan for 2007−2012 concerning the Beijing declaration on partnership cooperation for common development. The Plan recommended developing teleinformatics infrastructure (including broadband internet services), developing human potential (Chinese trainings for ICT managers and technicians from ASEAN countries), providing universal services aimed to narrow the digital gap (through network communication systems in rural and peripheral areas), ensuring IT network security, and facilitating ICT trade and investment (ASEAN-China 2007a). In addition to that, the parties adopted the bilateral Protocol on cooperation in agriculture and forestry (in compliance with national regulations). China made a commitment to offer trainings for ASEAN countries in the area of agriculture, fishery, aquaculture and animal breeding (ASEAN-China 2007b). The Chinese party recommended taking measures aimed to support infrastructure (mainly in transport) and strengthen cooperation in energy security (including the development of biofuels) and disaster management (the recovery of destroyed areas). The parties adopted the Agreement on Trade in Services, and the Protocols introducing changes to the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Framework Agreement (including trade in goods), and they expressed determination to implement the DOC Agreement.
The tenth anniversary of ASEAN+3 was celebrated at the 11th APT Summit held in Singapore in November 2007. To mark the occasion, ASEAN+3 issued a joint Declaration on cooperation in East Asia (APT 2007b). The document was composed of two parts. The first part was a review of the main stages of cooperation within ASEAN+3 in 1997−2007. 18 The second part presented a plan of further integration for 2007−2017. It reaffirmed the role of the APT process as the major tool for developing the regional architecture aimed to create the East Asian Community (with ASEAN acting as the driving force of the process). The Declaration stressed the transparency, openness and future orientation of East Asian integration, as well as the complementary and supporting functions performed by other structures in the APT process (including APEC, ASEM, ARF and EAS). With a view to strengthening and rationalising ASEAN+3 cooperation, five major areas of activity were identified. The first one comprised politics and security—closer dialogue and cooperation achieved as a result of regular meetings, the exchange of information and human resource management. The second area of activities referred to economic and financial cooperation—stimulating economic growth and sustainable development aimed to ensure a free movement of goods, services, capital and people; supporting economic integration; ensuring free trade, its transparency, as well as the implementation of intellectual property rights; carrying out structural reforms and promoting mutual investment projects. With regard to the financial sector, the Declaration recommended the multilateralisation of CMI (Chiang Mai Initiative) and the strengthening of ABMI. The third cooperation area identified by ASEAN+3 for the subsequent decade comprised energy, the environment and climate change. The Declaration reaffirmed the need for ensuring energy security (through diversified supplies, increased energy efficiency and new renewable sources of energy), counteracting the effects of climate change, and for seeking balance between sustainable economic development and social development. The fourth cooperation area within the ASEAN+3 framework comprised socio-cultural and development-related issues, focusing on the following activities: achieving the Millennium Development Goals, narrowing development gaps (through implementing VAP and IAI), and supporting subregional cooperation programmes as well as educational and cultural projects. The last cooperation area recommended by the leaders of ASEAN+3 countries related to institutional support mechanisms, including the APT Fund and the APT Unit in the ASEAN Secretariat (APT 2007b).
The above Joint Statement of the leaders of ASEAN+3 countries coincided with the adoption of the 11th APT Summit’s Work Plan for 2007−2017 (APT 2007c). The Plan comprised the above presented cooperation areas, recommending specific implementation methods. With regard to cooperation in political and security issues, five groups of activities were identified: maintaining peace and stability in the region, counteracting terrorism, strengthening maritime cooperation with regard to travel safety and counteracting piracy at sea (without violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of ASEAN+3 countries), engaging in solving non-traditional security issues and strengthening cooperation within the structure of ASEAN+3. With regard to economic and financial cooperation, the Plan identified 11 areas of activity: trade and investment; financial cooperation; transport; tourism; introducing compliance and standardisation systems; information and communication technologies; protection of intellectual property rights; food, agriculture, fishery and forestry; fossil fuels; SMEs and development-oriented cooperation.
The third group of cooperation areas included in the APT Plan for 2007–2017 comprised energy, environmental issues, climate change and sustainable development. This group was composed of two types of activities. The first one was related to the energy sector, and it focused on the previously discussed issues: energy security (the diversification of transport routes for energy materials), energy diversification and infrastructure investments, new and renewable sources of energy and energy efficiency. The Plan comprised such activities as the electrification of ASEAN rural areas, supporting the ASEAN Centre for Energy, the use of ecological technologies (e.g. in motorcars), considering EAS and APEC energy-related projects and proposals and establishing dialogue with Middle East gas and oil producers. The second group of issues related to the environment and sustainable development. The document recommended the following measures: strengthening cooperation in environmental protection, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources (underground water), facilitating technology transfers, providing trainings and scholarships, increasing ecological awareness, implementing air quality management programmes and introducing systems for the exchange of information and experience.
The fourth group of issues included in the ASEAN+3 Work Plan for 2007−2017 focused on socio-cultural and development-oriented activities. The nine adopted programmes included the following: implementing joint projects for achieving the Millennium Development Goals; supporting weaker social groups (women, children, youth, elderly people and people with disabilities) in counteracting discrimination and violence; reducing poverty (easier access to markets for products manufactured in less developed ASEAN+3 countries); strengthening institutional networks (including NEAT—the Network of East Asian Think-tanks, launched in 2003); public health programmes (including regional and global cooperation and technical assistance aimed to prevent, control and reduce HIV/AIDS, SARS, bird flu and tuberculosis pandemics); educational programmes (closer cooperation under the ASEAN University Network); science and technology (the commercial applications of microelectronics, biotechnology and food technology); culture and interpersonal relations (the East Asia Week) and disaster management (civil–military cooperation in the cases of earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc.). The last part of the plan referred to the institutional support and mechanisms which, similarly to the above components of the analysed document, were recommended by the Second Joint Declaration of ASEAN+3 countries issued in 2007. This part of the document related to the functioning of the APT Cooperation Fund (aimed to support the Plan’s implementation), undertaking joint projects for achieving the adopted goals, enhancing the APT Unit at the ASEAN Secretariat (to coordinate ASEAN+3 consultations and activities), and developing a schedule for implementing and assessing the adopted agreements (APT 2007c). The above analysis of the APT Work Plan for 2007−2017 indicates that it included new areas of cooperation under the ASEAN+3 framework: support for women, the development of rural areas, disaster management and fossil fuels.
The Singapore meeting held in November 2007—in accordance with the ASEAN+3 formula—was accompanied by bilateral summits. The participants of the ASEAN−China Summit agreed to extend the scope of their cooperation by adding the eleventh area of activities—environmental issues. The ASEAN−Japan Summit established ERIA—an institution for strengthening bilateral relations and exchanging recommendations and concepts related to regional integration (ASEAN-Japan 2007b). The parties issued a joint statement on finalising negotiations concerning the Japan–ASEAN Comprehensive Economic Partnership in which they expressed their conviction that the agreement would stimulate mutual trade and strengthen economic relations. The ASEAN−ROK Summit adopted the Agreement on Trade in Goods as part of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the governments of the two countries (along with a detailed schedule of agreed commitments) (ASEAN-ROK 2007b). In addition to that, the Summit adopted the Protocol on establishing the ASEAN–ROK Centre based in Seoul. The Centre’s adopted goals included increased trade volumes, accelerated investment flows as well as the development of tourism and cultural exchange (ASEAN-ROK 2007c).
The 2009 ASEAN+3 Forum was dominated by the global financial and economic crisis. In February 2009, the extraordinary meeting of APT financial ministers in Phuket decided to accelerate the multilateralisation of the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMIM). The official agreement was adopted in the Island of Bali in May 2009. It led to launching the regional self-help financial mechanism by the end of 2009, increasing the originally committed amount of USD 80 billion to USD 120 billion. 19 As part of the Asian Bond Market Initiative, the parties adopted the Credit Guarantee and Investment Mechanism (CGIM) with the start-up capital of USD 500 million (APT 2009a). The CGIM mechanism was aimed to support the issue of East Asian corporate bonds denominated in national currencies. The 12th APT Summit, held in Cha Am Hua Hin in October 2009, agreed to conduct parallel research studies of two concepts of an FTA—EAFTA and CEPEA. The participants decided to intensify cooperation in the area of energy and discussed issues related to oil warehousing facilities, common initiatives concerning data bases and the civil uses of nuclear energy. The leaders of ASEAN+3 countries, expressing the need for a comprehensive approach to energy and food security issues, issued the Cha Am Hua Hin Declaration on food security and the development of bioenergy (APT 2009b). The document, apart from the previously adopted plans to intensify cooperation in R&D, technology transfers and climate change issues, announced support for the East Asia Emergency Rice Reserve pilot project (EAERR) (expiring at the end of February 2010). The participants of the 12th APT Summit considered establishing a permanent structure based on EAERR—the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR).
Within the framework of bilateral meetings held in Thailand in October 2009 (the ASEAN–China Summit), ASEAN leaders expressed satisfaction over China’s rapid economic growth which mitigated the effects of the global crisis on the region. In this context, an important role was played by the earlier ASEAN–China Investment Agreement (July 2009) as well as positive trends in mutual trade. The parties—in their efforts to establish closer business relations within an FTA—decided to launch the ACFTA Business Portal at the beginning of 2010. They also adopted a memorandum on establishing the ASEAN–China Centre within a period of five years, which was aimed to stimulate trade, investment, SME development, tourism and cultural exchange (ASEAN-China 2009). The Chinese party donated 300,000 tons of rice for the needs of EAERR, and made a commitment to support ASEAN’s infrastructure (allocating USD 10 billion for the ASEAN–China Fund’s investment cooperation, and another amount of USD 15 billion for lending activities, including USD 6.7 billion for preferential loans). China’s leaders stressed the key significance of two ASEAN subregional cooperation programmes: the Greater Mekong Subregion and Pan-Beibu Gulf Economic Cooperation. The two parties agreed to support the implementation of ACFTA, and decided to develop an action plan for implementing a joint declaration on the ASEAN–China strategic partnership for peace and prosperity for 2011−2015.
The Investment Agreement, supporting the free trade agreement, was signed in 2009 not only by ASEAN and China, but also by South Korea. The agreement was finalised in June, and its signatories expressed hope of increasing mutual trade from USD 90 billion in 2008 to USD 150 billion by 2015 (ASEAN-ROK 2009). The parties reaffirmed their efforts aimed to develop trade and investment, announcing the further development of infrastructure and closer cooperation in all modes of transport. Korea expressed its support for the 2009 ASEAN Declaration on the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community for 2009−2015, announced its financial support for the ASEAN Integration Initiative (until 2017), and made a commitment to double its financial contribution to ASEAN under the ODA programme by 2015.
The talks held during the ASEAN−Japan Summit (October 2009) were dominated by two issues: the global crisis and the publication of the Report of the ASEAN–Japan Eminent Persons Group (AJEPG). Referring to the global crisis, ASEAN leaders extended thanks for Japan’s additional contribution of USD 90 million to the Japan–ASEAN Integration Fund, designed as an emergency tool in financial crises (ASEAN-Japan 2009a). The parties expressed their opposition to economic protectionism, supporting the expansion of mutual trade. This concept was reaffirmed by Japan’s proposal to stimulate economic growth and increase domestic demand through supporting crisis-hit sectors and population groups (Japan’s aid programmes within the ODA framework). ASEAN leaders requested Japan to support the ASEAN Infrastructure Development Fund and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. The participants expressed hope for the prompt implementation of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership (AJCEP), contributing to closer economic links and the creation of larger and more effective markets. The Japanese party reaffirmed its permanent commitment to narrow development gaps within ASEAN and to actively engage in supporting the development of the Mekong River Basin through developing industrial corridors with the participation of private enterprises. In this context, Japan proposed to launch the Mekong–Japan Economic and Industrial Initiative, aimed to strengthen state–private sector dialogue, develop hard infrastructure, facilitate trade, develop logistics services and support the SME sector.
During the Summit, ASEAN leaders and Japan adopted the previously mentioned Report of the EPG (established at the Cebu Summit in January 2007). This document, similarly to the previously published ASEAN–China EPG Report, reflected the three-pillar structure of an ASEAN Community. It identified priority cooperation areas including energy and food security, environmental issues and climate change. With regard to the economic pillar, the Report recommended taking measures in the following areas: improvements to the investment climate, support for tourism and “open sky” policies, SME development, increased labour force mobility, logistics infrastructure and intellectual property rights protection. The Report stressed that the decision-making process would be based on consultations and consensus (ASEAN-Japan 2009b).
The global economic slow-down was also discussed at the 13th APT Summit, which was held in Hanoi in October 2010. The parties stressed that despite the crisis their economic relations remained strong and stable—the value of trade volumes within ASEAN+3 amounted to USD 413.8 billion in 2009, while mutual investment projects reached the level of USD 8.2 billion (APT 2010a). However, the participants stressed the necessity of the further facilitation of trade and investment activities. Simultaneously, further attempts were made to develop the two concepts of a regional FTA: CEPEA and EAFTA. 20 With regard to financial cooperation, the participants stressed the significance of closer mutual relations in maintaining the region’s stability and sustainable development, and they expressed satisfaction over the launch of CMIM in March 2010, and the establishment of an institution (in early 2011) for monitoring the multilateralisation of the Chiang Mai Initiative (Singapore-based AMRO—ASEAN Plus Three Macroeconomic Research Office). ASEAN+3 leaders expressed their concern over a considerable inflow of short-term capital and obligated their finance ministers to take counteracting measures.
The participants of the 13th APT Summit made a commitment to improve transport connections within ASEAN and between ASEAN and “plus three” countries, and stressed the significance of regional economic competitiveness (e.g. in competition policies and SME strategy adaptation—the problems already discussed at an ASEAN forum). ASEAN+3 countries expressed satisfaction over the adopted agreement on rice reserves (APTERR), and incorporated two new areas into their cooperation programmes: information dissemination and education. At the same Summit, the president of South Korea proposed establishing EAVG II for setting future development directions in ASEAN+3 (APT 2010a). The representatives of APT countries adopted the joint Louang Phrabang Declaration on cooperation in civil services. The document referred to the APT Work Plan for 2007−2017, and focused on such issues as developing e-administration, promoting good governance, increasing the effectiveness and transparency of the public sector, supporting human resource development (leading to more effective cooperation within ASEAN+3), facilitating economic and institutional connectivity and promoting interpersonal relations (APT 2010b).
The ASEAN−China Summit in 2010 focused on adopting a five-year Action Plan for 2011−2015 with regard to implementing the joint Declaration on ASEAN–China strategic partnership for peace and prosperity (ASEAN-China 2010a). The document was based on the previous five-year plan for 2005−2010 (ASEAN-China 2004a). The new cooperation area related to politics and security was the issue of human rights. New economic issues included narrowing development gaps, intellectual property rights, quality inspections and customs duty cooperation. It was decided that cooperation in energy would also include the use of fossil fuels. With respect to social issues, the Plan included such areas as poverty reduction and disaster management. The Plan’s recommended activities in the field of international affairs concerned closer cooperation within G-20. 21 At the ASEAN−China Summit, the leaders of the two countries issued the Statement on sustainable development, expressing their intention to support open markets, counteract any forms of protectionism (finalising the Doha Round within the WTO framework) as well as to strengthen regional and financial cooperation within ASEAN+3 (ASEAN-China 2010b). China, ASEAN’s largest trade partner (accounting for 11.6 % of the Association’s total trade in 2009), proposed increasing trade volumes to the level of USD 500 billion by 2015, and allocated USD 10 billion worth of FDI for investment projects in the Southeast Asian subregion (with the aim of increasing bilateral tourist traffic to the level of 15 million people and financing 10,000 scholarships for students, teachers and scientists from ASEAN countries by 2020) (ASEAN-China 2010c).
The ASEAN–ROK Summit, held in October 2010, focused on transforming the status of “comprehensive cooperation” into “a strategic partnership”. To this end, the parties adopted the joint Declaration on strategic partnership for peace and prosperity. The structure of the document corresponded to ASEAN Community’s pillars (ASEAN-ROK 2010a). With regard to political and security issues, the participants announced enhancing dialogue and maintaining peace and stability (through promoting denuclearisation programmes, the peaceful uses of nuclear power, counteracting international business crime and promoting democratic principles and human rights). The Plan announced an increase in bilateral trade to the level of USD 150 billion by 2015, the implementation of the free trade area (AKFTA), enhancing regional economic integration (the development of ABMI, the effective implementation of CMIM, and closer cooperation under the WTO, APEC and G-20), strengthened economic cooperation (construction, transport, mining, fishery and SME and ICT sectors) and tourism development (regular tourism exhibitions). In the area of socio-cultural cooperation, the document announced undertaking activities in the following fields: the development of education (student and scientific exchange), human resource and social welfare development (professional competences), cultural exchange (especially youth programmes), cooperation in consular matters (citizen protection), cooperation in environmental issues, climate change, disaster management and global challenges (cooperation in the context of the global economic and financial crisis). Also, the Declaration announced Korea’s further engagement in implementing the ODA programme for the benefit of ASEAN countries, supporting subregional cooperation programmes and adopting an action plan for 2011−2015 in connection with the adopted goals. The action plan, adopted at the same meeting, presented detailed recommendations concerning customs cooperation, investment promotion, support for CLMV countries (the electrification of rural areas), infrastructure development, population migrations, as well as cooperation in agriculture, forestry, fishery and food security (ASEAN-ROK 2010b).
An action plan related to bilateral relations was discussed in 2010 at the ASEAN–Japan Summit. The parties decided to review the Tokyo Declaration and the related action plan with the aim of presenting new recommendations at the next Summit in 2011. Simultaneously, the Association stressed the significance of its economic relations with Japan—a country which accounted for 13.4 % of ASEAN’s total investment in 2009, and for 10.5 % of ASEAN’s total trade (ASEAN-Japan 2010). ASEAN leaders acknowledged the engagement of Japan’s private sector in building an ASEAN Community. The parties expressed satisfaction over the commencement of negotiations on liberalising trade in services and investment transfers, supporting the AJCEP agreement (implemented since 1 December 2008). At the Hanoi Summit, Japan announced a long-term initiative for establishing the East Asia Science and Innovation Area.
The next APT Summit was held in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2011. The participants stressed the positive effects of implementing the APT cooperation plan for 2007−2017 in two areas: socio-cultural and development-oriented cooperation, and joint undertakings in economic and financial programmes (APT 2011). With regard to economic issues, the participants of the 14th APT Summit stressed the leading role of East Asian economies in the global economic recovery in the context of the financial and economic crisis. ASEAN+3 leaders acknowledged the contribution of international trade to global prosperity and sustainable development, and stressed the need for accelerating Doha Round negotiations and enhancing the role of developing countries in the process of making global economic decisions. With regard to cooperation within the framework of ASEAN+3, the participants acknowledged the establishment of the APT Macroeconomic Research Office (April 2011), and encouraged AMRO to conduct research on the possible role played by CMIM in preventing future crises. A positive assessment was given to the development of ABMI, including the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF). The leaders of ASEAN+3 countries decided to analyse the possibility of establishing an East Asian crisis management centre for counteracting the effects of financial crises and natural disasters. Such a centre was to be responsible for an efficient decision-making process based on the coordination of various mechanisms used under the framework cooperation of ASEAN+3 countries. 22
The 14th APT Summit also considered the consolidation of regional FTA agreements. The representatives of ASEAN+3 countries reviewed CEPEA and EAFTA recommendations and decided to conduct detailed analyses of customs nomenclature, origin of goods principles, customs procedures and economic cooperation. It should be noted that Japan and China made a joint proposal to establish three working groups responsible for CEPEA and EAFTA projects. They were assigned the task of carrying out thorough analyses of the liberalisation of trade in goods and services (especially in the area of the above issues), and free investment flows. “Plus three” countries expressed their intention to support the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity for making improvements in the entire East Asian region. In this context, the participants of the Summit acknowledged Thailand’s initiative to establish an APT connectivity partnership.
As regards bilateral relations, the ASEAN−ROK Summit of November 2011 acknowledged the implementation of all AKFTA agreements and expressed satisfaction over a considerable increase in trade volumes in 2010 (from USD 75 billion to USD 97.2 billion over the period of one year). The participants made a commitment to increase the role of the SME sector with the aim of deriving benefits from the implementation of AKFTA (ASEAN-ROK 2011). Also, they stressed the positive effects of implementing the previous year’s Action Plan of the Declaration on strategic partnership for peace and prosperity for 2011−2015. The parties expressed great satisfaction with the results of cooperation in ICT, transport, tourism, education, finance, human resource development and energy (Korea’s initiative to launch the Green Growth Strategy). During the Summit, ASEAN leaders encouraged Korea to support the Association’s Master Connectivity Plan and to share its experience in flood prevention and water management. Korea engaged in the China–Japan dialogue concerning the countries of the Mekong River Basin (the first Mekong–Korea meeting of foreign ministers was inaugurated in October 2011).
The ASEAN−China Summit, held in Indonesia in 2011, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the dialogue partnership. The participants acknowledged the enlargement of cooperation areas (up to 20), out of which 11 deserved special recognition: mutual investment projects, agriculture, the ICT sector, the development of the Mekong river basin, transport, tourism, human resource development, energy, culture, public health and the environment (ASEAN-China 2011a). The parties announced the official opening of the Beijing-based ASEAN−China Centre aimed to increase mutual investment, promote culture and education, increase tourist traffic (up to the previously mentioned 15 million trips by 2015), and reach the level of USD 500 billion worth of bilateral trade by 2015 (in 2010, ASEAN−China trade amounted to nearly USD 293 billion as compared with USD 78.3 billion in 2003). Within the programme of intensifying economic relations, China allocated an additional amount of USD 10 billion for loans for ASEAN countries (including USD 4 billion for preferential loans). To mark the anniversary of establishing partnership relations in 1991, the participants of the Summit issued a special statement in which they expressed satisfaction over the implementation of the action plan of the joint declaration on strategic partnership for peace and prosperity for 2005−2010, the adoption of the new plan for 2011−2015, and the implementation of ACFTA in January 2010. The parties expressed their strong intention to maintain good neighbourliness and transform strategic partnership into a higher level of mutual relations to include political, security, economic, socio-cultural, regional and international cooperation (ASEAN-China 2011b). With regard to economic issues, the parties expressed their intention to broaden their cooperation (in the context of globalisation and regional integration), to promote the idea of open markets and the facilitation of trade in goods and services as well as to make additional efforts aimed to prevent financial and monetary crises and strengthen financial and macroeconomic cooperation within ASEAN+3 (ASEAN-China 2011b).
The ASEAN−Japan Summit of November 2011 focused on two issues. The first one was the earthquake of March 2011 and the explosion at the nuclear power plant of Fukushima. In this context, the parties attributed the highest rank of significance to crisis management cooperation (ASEAN-Japan 2011a). The other group of issues related to the revision of mutual relations, regulated by the 2003 Tokyo Declaration. In response to regional and global transformations—the shifting of the gravity centre to Asia and the Pacific, the increased significance of ASEAN (the adoption of the ASEAN Charter) and the launching of the EAS in 2005—the parties adopted the joint Declaration on strengthening strategic partnership for mutual prosperity, referred to as the Bali Declaration (ASEAN-Japan 2011b). The document presented five strategies for future cooperation, focusing on maintaining peace, stability and prosperity in the region. The strategies included the following goals: strengthening the region’s political and security cooperation, intensifying efforts aimed to build an ASEAN Community, enhancing ASEAN−Japan connectivity through consolidating mutual links, creating strong societies capable of facing challenges resulting from natural disasters, and taking united action in face of regional and global challenges. The Bali Declaration, similarly to the ASEAN–Japan Plan of Action 2011–2015, was based on the pillars of the ASEAN Community (ASEAN-Japan 2011c).
With regard to political and security issues, the ASEAN−Japan Action Plan focused on disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, counteracting cross-border crime, maritime cooperation (ensuring sailing security and peaceful conflict resolution) and promoting human rights. The Plan gave much attention to economic cooperation, regulating the following issues: trade facilitation (finalising negotiations on trade in services and investment transfers within AJCEP), cooperation in customs and improvements in customs procedures (implementation of the Asia Cargo Highway Initiative by 2020, aimed to facilitate the movement of goods between ASEAN and Japan), financial and monetary cooperation (supporting ABMI in creating the markets of bonds denominated in national currencies), supporting FDI (with the aim of increasing economic competitiveness), the development of the ICT and SME sector, supporting competition policies, intellectual property rights protection, fossil fuels, food, agriculture, fishery and forestry (taking specific measures within the framework of APTERR), food and energy security, transport (special assistance offered to CLMV), subregional cooperation programmes (GMS, BIMP-EAGA and IMT-GT) and the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. The Plan included a new area of activities (as compared with other ASEAN+3 similar documents)—chemical security management, 23 as well as cooperation in the car industry and the manufacture of car components (aimed to establish integrated car markets in the territory of ASEAN). The other areas of cooperation concerned socio-cultural issues (human resource management, environmental problems and sustainable development) as well as global and regional challenges. The parties announced supporting the ASEAN-led process of developing a comprehensive regional economic partnership based on the ongoing research studies of EAFTA and CEPEA projects (ASEAN-Japan 2011c).
In 2012, the capital of Cambodia hosted the 15th anniversary celebrations of ASEAN+3. On this occasion, the representatives of member states issued a statement in which they referred to the following issues: respecting other countries’ right to choose their own development path; strengthening East Asia’s internal growth factors (through the region’s increased demand); strengthening trade relations between ASEAN and “plus 3” countries (they contributed to the region’s resistance to the financial and economic crisis); recognising the significance of ASEAN–Japan, ASEAN–Korea and ASEAN–China centres in promoting trade, investment, education, tourism and culture in the Association’s relations with Northeast Asian countries; approval to the further strengthening of cooperation in the field of food security (support to APTERR); reaffirming the commitment to counter terrorism and cross-border crime; the significance of diversified sources of energy, the development of renewable sources of energy and ensuring energy security(APT 2012a). The second statement issued at the Summit referred to partnership in Communication (APT 2012b). The participating leaders committed themselves to support the financing of infrastructure development through engaging private–public partnerships and private entities, to stimulate educational programmes (including the establishment of the network of ASEAN+3 universities), and to strengthen cooperation in counteracting cross-border crime.
As regards ASEAN’s individual meetings with “plus three” countries, the ASEAN–China Summit reaffirmed the participants’ strong commitment to strengthen strategic cooperation as well as to expand cooperation in all sectors (especially in priority areas), to make further efforts aimed at DOC implementation, and to encourage the interested parties to seek peaceful settlements of their territorial conflicts. The Chinese party proposed establishing the China–ASEAN Maritime Cooperation Fund for the purpose of supporting scientific research in maritime areas, improving communication and maintaining sailing security. The participants expressed satisfaction over Hong Kong’s intention to join ACFTA, as well as Chinese new initiatives aimed to strengthen cooperation between the Association and the PRC in the field of politics, economics, trade, culture and science and technology. Thailand was appointed ASEAN–China Dialogue Coordinator from July 2012 to July 2015 (ASEAN-China 2012).
The participants of the 2012 ASEAN–Japan Summit stressed the significance of AJCEP (and expressed satisfaction regarding the recent progress in negotiations on trade in services and investment agreements) and maritime cooperation in security, navigation and salvage operations, as well as the role of EAS dialogue. ASEAN leaders recognised the significant role of JAIF (and its prolonged activities up to the end of 2013), and Japan’s support for individual contacts among people, especially the youth (including students). The participating parties referred to the need for maintaining stability and peace in the Korean Peninsula, and stressed the significance of efforts in support of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and stricter export regulations. Simultaneously, as in the case of ASEAN–China relations, a dialogue coordinator was appointed for the respective period (Cambodia) (ASEAN-Japan 2012).
With regard to ASEAN−ROK relations, the Association’s leaders participating in the 2012 Summit expressed their satisfaction over Korea’s support to the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, especially in connection with infrastructure and ICT development programmes. The parties agreed to tighten cooperation in such areas as education, SME activities, counteracting international crime, crisis management, as well as the storage, processing and distribution of food. They also reaffirmed their intention to cooperate in resolving global problems related to climate change and environmental protection, expressing their willingness to engage in implementing “green and low emission development policies”. Acknowledgement was given to the Republic of Korea for its contribution to the development of the Mekong River Basin, and the year 2014 became the “Mekong-ROK Exchange Year”. Indonesia was appointed ASEAN’s Korea-Dialogue coordinator (ASEAN-ROK 2012).
Brunei’s capital city hosted the 16th APT Summit in October 2013. The participants stated that cooperation within the framework of ASEAN+3 should be a tool for achieving a long-term objective—building an East Asian community with ASEAN as the driver of this process, coupled with the complementary functions performed by ASEAN+3, ASEAN+1, EAS and ARF. The leaders of ASEAN countries encouraged Northeast Asian nations to continue their support for the Roadmap for an ASEAN Community (2009–2015), Bali Concord III and the ASEAN Community Post-2015 Vision. Also, the Summit adopted the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2013–2017). The participants expressed their satisfaction in connection with the increasing values of mutual trade exchange and FDI, and they gave their consent to tightened cooperation in these areas, including SME activities. They also stressed the significance of pursuing the goals set by the previous trade liberalising agreements, and they expressed satisfaction regarding RCEP negotiations (with ASEAN’s central role), expressing hope that they would be finalised by the end of 2015. The participants of the meeting recognised the need for finding balance between energy security, environmental protection and economic competitiveness. In this context, they stressed the significance of cooperation in clean coal technologies, nuclear energy and the storage of oil. Attention was also given to crisis management (natural disasters) and strengthened cooperation in solving climate change problems (affecting the productivity of agriculture and the region’s food security) (APT 2013).
The participants of the 2013 Summit discussed cooperation in human resource management and education, giving special attention to higher education (ensuring high teaching standards and promoting mobility among ASEAN+3 countries). They gave support to efforts aimed to counteract the threat of epidemics, and touched on some other issues: the development of tourism, enhancing ASEAN and ASEAN+3 awareness (cooperation in the exchange of information and the media), efforts aimed to apply for the Chairman of ASEAN’s permanent representation in G-20 meetings and maintaining peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula (APT 2013).
ASEAN+3 Summits were traditionally accompanied by ASEAN+1 meetings. The participants of ASEAN–Japan meetings expressed satisfaction over the ASEAN–Japan Plan of Action (POA) 2011–2015, aimed to implement the Joint Declaration for Enhancing ASEAN–Japan Partnership for Prospering Together, tightening further mutual cooperation. ASEAN leaders expressed their satisfaction regarding Japan’s support for the Association’s central role in East Asia’s expanding institutional architecture, and gave their approval to the initiative to arrange meetings commemorating the 40th anniversary of establishing ASEAN–Japan Dialogue Relations, to be held in 2013. The parties confirmed their commitment to the further promotion of trade and investment in the context of implementing the AJCEP agreement. ASEAN leaders called on Japan to continue its efforts in support of the development of connectivity, transport, education and human resources, as well as such areas as counteracting terrorism and developing the energy sector. Approval was given to Japan’s initiative to incorporate urban development into mutual cooperation programmes. The participants stressed the need for maintaining peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula (ASEAN-Japan 2013).
During the ASEAN–China Summit the Chinese party was represented for the first time by China’s new prime minister Li Keqiang. ASEAN leaders stressed that China was one of the most active Dialogue Partners, contributing to the region’s development, peace, stability and prosperity. The participants reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the ASEAN–China strategic partnership (established one decade before), especially in priority areas. They referred to the consultations held in April 2013 on strengthened mutual cooperation in trade, investment facilitation, connectivity, maritime programmes, as well as in transport, education, science and technology, and energy and food security. ASEAN leaders expressed their positive attitude to China’s two initiatives: the Treaty on good neighbourliness and friendship (Indonesia proposed to include a broader Indo-Pacific territory), and establishing an ASEAN–China cooperation network of port cities (to tighten mutual cooperation, trade exchange, sea-related industries, tourism and culture). Simultaneously, the participants announced establishing the ASEAN–China Maritime Cooperation Fund (to support activities proposed in the previous year in connection with maritime cooperation). Also, the parties expressed satisfaction over the results of the first round of COC consultations.
The participants of the ASEAN–China Summit recognised the significance of mutual trade relations and stressed that since 2009 the PRC had been ASEAN’s largest trade partner, while ASEAN had been China’s third most important partner since 2010. The parties reaffirmed their intention to liberalise trade, expressing satisfaction regarding progress in ACFTA implementation. They also announced their intention to make amendments to the agreement, aimed to offer easier access to markets, and to broaden the scope of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between the two parties. The parties gave their approval to the acceleration of RCEP negotiations for the purpose of strengthening East Asia’s economic integration, and they referred to the tenth anniversary of China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO), celebrated in September 2013, stressing the significance of CAEXPO in increasing trade exchange and investment between the PRC and ASEAN. ASEAN leaders acknowledged China’s contribution to ASEAN Connectivity and its initiative to establish the AIIB for providing financial support to regional infrastructural projects (regarding ASEAN connectivity as a priority goal). The parties proposed 2014 as the ASEAN–China Cultural Exchange Year. They also referred to the positive results of cooperation in the field of health protection, tourism, science and technology. 24 They acknowledged the establishment of the Network of ASEAN–China Think Tanks (NACT), and expressed hope that it would provide an effective platform for academic exchange (ASEAN-China 2013).
The participants of the 2013 ASEAN−ROK Summit gave their positive assessment to the implementation of the common declaration on strategic partnership and its action plan for 2011−2015. ASEAN leaders expressed their satisfaction regarding the intention to tighten cooperation in political and security issues (including Korea’s proposal to establish the ASEAN−ROK Dialogue on security issues). They also referred to the increasing value of mutual trade exchange, and expressed hope for implementing the provisions of AKFTA and meeting the target of USD 150 billion by 2015. ASEAN leaders supported Korea’s initiative to establish the ASEAN–ROK Business Council in 2014, aimed to intensify economic cooperation. The parties reaffirmed their intention to jointly resolve global and cross-border problems (environmental protection, climate change, disaster management, human and forestry resource management). ASEAN leaders expressed satisfaction over their cooperation with Korea in the field of education (including international student exchange programmes), the ICT sector, and the development of the Mekong River Basin (including the establishment of the Mekong–ROK Cooperation Fund). They also stressed the need for strengthening cooperation within the framework of the ASEAN–Korea Centre in three areas: culture and tourism, trade and investment, and public relations and flows of information (including SME development). The participants referred to the necessity of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula. The Association’s leaders supported Korea’s intention to assist Myanmar in its preparations for ASEAN Chairmanship in 2014 (ASEAN-ROK 2013).
In November 2014, Nay Pyi Taw hosted the 17th APT Summit. The participants reaffirmed the central role of ASEAN+3 in achieving its long-term goal—building an East Asian Community, with ASEAN acting as the driving force of the process. Also, they confirmed their commitment to implement the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision. They stressed the significance of ASEAN+3 in maintaining the region’s peace and stability. In this context, the participants confirmed their readiness to intensify political, economic and socio-cultural cooperation based on mid- and long-term time horizons, with a view to the region’s further development. Cooperation in traditional and non-traditional security issues was recognised as a key factor in maintaining peace and security. The role of SME activities was reaffirmed as the major driver of regional economic growth. The participants of the Summit supported the policy of strengthening regional economic cooperation through the existing ASEAN+1 FTAs, reaffirming their intention to finalise RCEP negotiations by the end of 2015. They acknowledged the signing of the AMRO Agreement in October 2014, hoping for its prompt ratification. AMRO, according to its assumptions, is to be transformed into an organisation focused on increasing the entire region’s financial security. The participants reaffirmed the significance of a proper balance between energy security, competitiveness and environmental protection, as well as the role of establishing APTERR, recommending improvements to the system based on other than rice agricultural products (APT 2014).
The leaders of ASEAN+3 referred to the need for cooperation in health care, environmental protection, education (including a university level), public health, tourism, the information sector (for the purpose of increasing ASEAN awareness), and intensified cooperation in the area of culture. They also emphasised the significance of closer cooperation in the field of science, technology and innovation, aimed to increase East Asia’s competitiveness and connectivity and the role of international programmes in disaster risk reduction. With regard to external relations, the participants of the Summit reaffirmed their support for the permanent representation of the Chairman of ASEAN to G-20. They stressed the importance of maintaining peace, security and stability in the Korean Peninsula, and expressed satisfaction in connection with the reunion of Korean divided families (in February 2014) in the hope that this process would be continued on a larger scale in the future (APT 2014).
At the ASEAN–China Summit, held in November 2014, the leaders of the Association acknowledged China’s initiative to build the maritime silk road, as well as the Chinese comprehensive plan to use the ASEAN–China Maritime Cooperation Fund, aimed to provide financing for cooperation in the field of maritime connectivity, science and technology, maritime research, salvage operations, crisis management and navigation security. Simultaneously, the participants proposed 2015 as the “ASEAN–China Year of Maritime Cooperation”, and they reaffirmed their commitment to fully and effectively implement DOC and COC, based on consensus-based assessment. They also referred to the previously expressed intention to achieve the level of USD 500 billion in trade exchange by 2015 (USD 350.5 billion in 2013), hoping to double that amount by 2020. Mutual investments up to 2020 are expected to amount to USD 150 billion. The parties acknowledged ASEAN’s support to the establishment of the AIIB, as well as the fact that the countries of the Association were recognised as its founding members. Support was offered to closer cooperation between the countries of the Mekong River Basin and the PRC. The participants approved Thailand’s sustainable development initiative in the Lancang–Mekong Subregion, aimed to close development gaps in ASEAN. A proposal was made (to be considered by the two parties) to introduce similar mechanisms for cooperation and dialogue. The participants acknowledged progress in implementing the STEP for building common laboratories, creating platforms for the exchange of data, and for setting up a technology transfer centre. Finally, the decision was made to increase the number of academic exchange programmes between ASEAN and the PRC (ASEAN-China 2014).
At the ASEAN–Japan Summit, hosted by Myanmar in the autumn of 2014, ASEAN leaders encouraged Japan to continue its activities in support of the roadmap for an ASEAN Community 2009–2015, Bali Concord III, and the ASEAN Community’s Post-2015 Vision. They acknowledged Japan’s “Proactive Contribution to Peace” initiative, aimed to ensure stability, peace and prosperity in an international community, and gave credit to the speech made by prime minister Shinzo Abe at the 2014 Shangri-La Dialogue meeting. The participants of the Summit reaffirmed their commitment to counteract terrorism and all forms of organised crime, and adopted the Joint Declaration for Cooperation to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Crime (ASEAN-Japan 2014b). They referred to economic cooperation, expressing their intention to increase mutual business partnership, strengthen cooperation in intellectual property rights, and to increase technology transfers from Japan to ASEAN. Also, they stressed the need for the further support of industrial expansion mainly through human resource development, SME cooperation and improvements in the entire region’s supply chains. ASEAN leaders expressed hope for Japan’s further efforts aimed to close the region’s development gaps by establishing special economic zones and growth corridors, as well as by supporting the development of the Mekong area. The ASEAN–Japan Summit referred to other issues: transport partnership, cooperation in the ICT sector, disaster management, the significance of human relations and cultural exchange (with special attention given to the youth), improved health care services, energy security, and the significance of maintaining stability and peace in the Korean Peninsula. The parties reaffirmed their mutual commitment to continue close cooperation in solving regional and international problems which have an impact on their common interests (ASEAN-Japan 2014a).
The 2014 ASEAN–ROK Summit was held in Busan. It was a jubilee summit, celebrating the 25th anniversary of establishing mutual dialogue. The participants committed themselves to support the following areas of activity: dialogue partnership; further efforts aimed to support ASEAN’s centrality in the regional institutional architecture and to create an ASEAN Community; expanding and strengthening mutual economic links through various initiatives (including discussions on AKFTA improvements); activities aimed to reduce poverty and development gaps; promoting cultural exchange. With regard to political cooperation and security issues, the participating parties announced initiatives aimed to tighten cooperation in facing security challenges (traditional and non-traditional); support for sea security (peaceful conflict settlement), promoting cooperation in facing common maritime challenges (environmental protection, connectivity, fishery and salvage operations); democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The following activities were announced with regard to economic cooperation: efforts aimed to improve the mutual balance of trade (through providing easier access to the market of goods and services); trade facilitation and greater engagement of the private sector; promoting cooperation and partnership in the SME sector through human resource management and the exchange of best practices; supporting cooperation in innovation, finance, energy, agriculture, transport, logistics, food security, forestry, mining, fishery, connectivity, infrastructure and intellectual property rights. The participants adopted a plan for increasing the volume of trade exchange up to USD 200 billion in 2020. With regard to cultural and social issues, and within the framework of promoting human relations, ASEAN leaders acknowledged South Korea’s endeavours aimed to simplify visa procedures for Southeast Asia’s citizens. They also touched on some other issues: consular cooperation, especially with regard to the mutual protection of citizens (including tourists, students and permanent residents) 25 ; strengthened cooperation in education, human resource development, culture, arts and sport; support for scientific and technological cooperation, innovation and the ICT sector; improvements in health care systems. The participants of the Summit announced cooperation in solving problems related to climate change, environmental management (including water resource management), energy and food security and contagious diseases. They referred to the need for establishing permanent peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the entire region of Northeast Asia, stressing the significance of effective dialogue and creating conditions for the resumption of the six-party talks, leading to the full and irrevocable denuclearisation of the Peninsula. The parties acknowledged South Korea’s support of an ASEAN Community through the ASEAN–ROK Special Cooperation Fund and, in the future, the ASEAN–ROK Future Oriented Cooperation Fund, and in implementing the new plan of action 2016–2020 (ASEAN-ROK 2014).
Several aspects of the process of East Asian changes within the structure of ASEAN+3 deserve special attention. Firstly, ASEAN+3 is the actual implementation of the EAEG and EAEC vision. Secondly, the framework of ASEAN+3 meetings—from the perspective of their participants as well as diversified economic and political dimensions—is a unique form of cooperation in the context of macroregional structures operating in other world regions. It leads to rivalry among “plus three” countries for dominance in the region, which is accompanied by ASEAN’s endeavours to retain the “10+3” structure (instead of “3+10”). Therefore, the Association—in its efforts to strengthen the key position in the region and to develop its own subregion (financially and technically supported by the northern countries, and parallel to agreements adopted by APT Summits)—continued holding bilateral meetings with East Asian countries. APT Summits made decisions related to strengthening bilateral decisions, with consideration given to the participants’ individual political and economic goals.
Most significant achievements in the evolution of APT development
Most significant events/achievements
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
First meeting attended by leaders of East Asian countries
(at the sidelines of the second ASEAN Informal Summit)
Decision to establish regular APT Summits
Establishment of EAVG
Proposal to organise finance expert meetings
Support to the establishment of EASG
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
EAVG Report—vision for East Asian Community
(cooperation areas: economics, finance, politics, security, environment, energy, society, culture and education)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The PRC—the first Dialogue Partner to sign TAC
Agreements reached: East Asian Community—a long-term goal
Reaffirmed support for ASEAN as the driver of East Asian regionalism (with active participation of “plus three” countries)
Announcement of East Asian Summit
Approval of EAFTA feasibility study
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur declaration on the ASEAN Plus Three Summit
Recognition of the role of ASEAN+1 in APT cooperation
Extension of APT activities (role of women, crisis management, fossil fuels, counteracting poverty)
Initiatives: Asian Bond Market Initiative and Chiang Mai Initiative
Five basic cooperation areas defined: politics and security; economics and finance; energy, environment and climate change; socio-cultural and development issues; institutional support)
ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation Work Plan 2007–2017
Cha-Am Hua Hin, Thailand
Cha-am Hua Hin statement on ASEAN Plus Three Cooperation on Food Security and Bio-Energy Development
Support to EAERR continued activities, and possible transformation of pilot programme into permanent structure (APTERR)
Decision to conduct parallel EAFTA and CEPEA studies
CMIM (effective on 24 March 2010), and plan for establishing AMRO
Luang Prabang joint declaration on ASEAN Plus Three Civil Service Cooperation
Proposal for establishing EAVG II
Establishment of AMRO (April 2011)
Initiative to establish APT connectivity partnership
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Recognition of intraregional trade relations and strengthening internal growth factors
Statement on ASEAN Plus Three Partnership on Connectivity
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
APT Cooperation Work Plan (2013–2017)
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Increased regional financial security (amended CMIM Agreement; upgrading of AMRO to an international organisation)
There is another aspect of Japan’s weakening position, which requires a commentary. Contemporary Japan—a country founded on the principles of democracy and recognised as one of the countries of the West as an ally of the USA—was in a very uncomfortable situation in the context of the violation of the principles of democracy and the rule of law in East Asian countries, especially in Myanmar. 27 Japan’s government found it difficult to implement its cautious policies with regard to the development of the Mekong River Basin in the context of its efforts to reduce the Chinese Communist Party’s influence in Indochina (obviously, China’s policy was determined by different factors). Simultaneously, ASEAN intended to act as East Asia’s “hub” and, consequently, made attempts to balance “plus three”—ASEAN relations, supporting democratic changes in Myanmar. This process was enhanced by the provisions of the ASEAN Charter—Art. Twenty legal grounds for imposing restrictions on this country. In this context, a significant role was played by the possibility of exerting influence on member states (despite ASEAN’s adherence to TAC agreements). On the other hand, consideration was given to the political attitudes adopted by the other Dialogue Partners, including the EU and the USA.
The above changes in intraregional relations were accompanied by the intensified efforts of ASEAN leaders to strengthen their relations with third countries. The leaders of other countries were invited to attend the Association’s summits, which ultimately led to the creation of another (apart from ASEAN+3) East Asian macroregional structure—the EAS.
5.2 The Origins and Development of the East Asia Summit
The EAS can be treated as a side effect of changes within the structure of ASEAN+3. Originally, ASEAN+3 was to be transformed into EAS, in accordance with the recommendations of the Report of the EAVG, presented at the Fifth APT Summit held in the Sultanate of Brunei in November 2001 (APT 2001). This change was aimed to create a more coherent structure—not directly related to ASEAN—in which member states could host their own meetings (unlike in the case of APT Summits hosted exclusively by ASEAN). The concept of transforming APT into EAS was supported until the Eighth APT Summit, held in Vientiane in November 2004, at which the decision was made to hold the first EAS in 2005.
The First EAS Summit was held in Malaysia in December 2005. It was attended by 16 countries: 13 ASEAN+3 member states, as well as India, Australia and New Zealand. 28 The EAS inauguration meeting was also attended by the representatives of the Russian Federation as an observer. The structure of the EAS’s membership was different than originally planned (limited to ASEAN+3). Secondly, a number of valid arguments were raised with regard to the identification of the territory of East Asia and the possible achievement of EAS’s long-term goal—establishing an East Asian Community. India, belonging to South Asia, and Australia and New Zealand as part of the Pacific region, were invited to attend the Malaysia Summit under the pressure of Indonesia, which made attempts to balance the growing power of China. On the other hand, some of East Asian countries, especially China and Malaysia, advocated a structure focused on regional needs and based on close cultural and social bonds. Eventually, a compromise was reached in May 2006, resulting in blocking EAS membership for at least two years. 29
The first EAS adopted two documents. The first one was the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the EAS, in which the parties announced the official establishment of the EAS as a dialogue forum for strategic political and economic issues of mutual concern, aimed to foster peace, stability and economic prosperity (EAS 2005a). The document stressed that EAS efforts aimed to build East Asia’s community were to be consistent with the concept of an ASEAN Community, support this concept and constitute an integral part of the regional institutional architecture. The EAS was to act as an open, transparent and externally oriented forum aimed to support global and universally accepted principles, acknowledging ASEAN as the “driving force” of the process. Simultaneously, ASEAN was authorised to set EAS participation criteria. 30 The parties announced that EAS meetings would be held annually in a country holding the ASEAN Chair, accompanying ASEAN Summits. The Declaration stated that the EAS aimed to support development, financial stability and energy security, narrow development gaps in East Asia and reduce poverty (through the development of infrastructure and technology transfers), develop and facilitate trade and investment, cooperate in solving political and security problems, support interpersonal contacts and cultural awareness, counteract the effects of natural disasters and prevent contagious diseases.
Contagious diseases were given special attention at the inauguration meeting of the EAS in the context of a rise in bird flu cases (H5N1). Therefore, the second document adopted by the Kuala Lumpur Summit in 2005 was the Declaration on bird flu prevention and control (EAS 2005b). The document stated that the spread of the virus in a number of countries of the region had an adverse effect on poultry production, mutual trade, tourist traffic, public health and economic and social development, and required the signatories to eliminate all the sources of bird flu and to effectively implement institutionalised systems for bird flu prevention and control.
The second EAS, held in Cebu in January 2007, enlarged the scope of cooperation within the EAS framework to include the following activities: supporting the Doha Round, economic cooperation and regional integration (a consent was given to conducting research on establishing an FTA within 16 EAS countries, i.e. the CEPEA project), cooperation in education, the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, and enhancing regional financial mechanisms aimed to prevent and manage financial crises (EAS 2007a). Also, the participants agreed to launch specific projects within the framework of EAS five priority cooperation areas—energy, education, finance, bird flu and natural disasters (Shimizu 2009). They were to be presented at the Third EAS Summit in Singapore in November 2007.
The Philippine EAS Summit gave priority to energy security, resulting in the adoption of the Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security. The document provided a basis for establishing closer energy cooperation, reducing reliance on conventional sources of energy (as a result of renewable sources, biofuels and nuclear energy), developing effective and ecological uses of fossil fuels, supporting investment in energy sources and infrastructure development (engaging the private sector), and promoting open and competitive markets (at regional and global levels) with a view to supplying cheap energy and reducing greenhouse gas emissions (EAS 2007b).
At the third EAS, held in the autumn of 2007, the leaders of 16 member states reaffirmed their will to develop the EAS as a significant forum for regional cooperation and strategic dialogue. However, the Summit was dominated by the previously discussed issues related to the environment and energy. The parties expressed their concern over the negative effects of climate change on economic and social development, adopting the Singapore Declaration on climate, energy and environment. The document stressed the need for overcoming climate-related problems (with a leading role played by advanced countries), and announced the following undertakings: stabilising (in the long run) the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at the level preventing dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system; intensifying financial and technical support for EAS developing countries; enlarging forest areas in EAS territories (up to 15 million hectares by 2020); protecting sea and coastal ecosystems (inter alia the Coral Triangle Initiative), and initiating dialogue on urban development 31 (EAS 2007c). The participants of the Third EAS Summit decided to establish ERIA (Japan’s initiative), hold EAS workshops on climate change and biofuels and seminars on climate change (initiated by China and Thailand), as well as to organise the EAS Conference on Friendly Cities in June 2008 (initiated by Singapore). The Summit adopted a periodical review of research on establishing CEPEA, which expressed the participants’ intention to engage the private sector in research studies and to accelerate adopting an agreement on an FTA (stressing that CEPEA would add value to existing free trade agreements in the region) (EAS 2007d).
The fourth EAS was held in Thailand in October 2009, following the entry into force of the ASEAN Charter and the adoption of the Declaration on the ASEAN Community Roadmap for 2009–2015 (at the 14th ASEAN Summit). The meeting focused on two issues: the global crisis and natural disasters. 32 EAS leaders issued a statement on disaster management, in which they expressed concern about natural disasters and their negative social, economic and environmental effects (hindering the achievement of sustainable development and the Millennium Development Goals), and they made a commitment to develop early warning systems, increase the ability to mitigate the risk of transborder disasters, exercise strict regulations with regard to managing natural resources (forests and water resources) and to establish the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) (EAS 2009a).
The global crisis was discussed by EAS leaders before the fourth EAS, leading to the EAS Statement on the Global Economic and Financial Crisis (June 2009). 33 The document called for taking political measures aimed to regain financial stability and stimulate economic growth (EAS 2009b). EAS member states stressed the necessity of taking appropriate coordinated measures aimed to protect the region against the effects of the crisis and global economic slowdown. To this end, the participants announced increasing the regional growth potential and stimulating demand (through supporting the private sector, accelerating the development of basic infrastructure and supporting subregional initiatives). Stressing the significance of fiscal, monetary and political stimulating measures adopted by East Asian countries to counteract the crisis, the parties reaffirmed the need for further measures aimed to maintain economic growth, create jobs, reduce poverty and ensure mid- and long-term macroeconomic and financial stability. Also, the parties stressed that the effectiveness of the adopted measures was conditioned by maintaining a stable financial system. Therefore, the parties expressed their intention to develop regional financial markets and stressed the significance of ASEAN+3 initiatives (CMIM and ABMI). EAS countries announced their intention to promptly finalise the Doha Round and intensify activities aimed to facilitate trade and investment, making EAS countries an attractive investment target. The parties stressed that the implementation of CEPEA would increase intraregional trade (EAS 2009b).
The global crisis was the subject of the speech delivered by H. Kuroda, president of the ADB, at the EAS in October 2009 (EAS 2009c). He referred to the impact of the crisis on the economic growth in Asian developing countries, stressed the role of Asia as the leader of the global economic recovery, presented ADB’s activities aimed to stimulate growth (an additional amount of USD 10 billion for lending activities in 2009 and 2010), and discussed the huge challenges posed by infrastructure development programmes (an estimated USD 3 trillion worth of investments in the next decade). Kuroda pointed out that because the EAS promoted the concept of open regionalism, the regulatory systems of its member countries should be linked with the global financial architecture. He also stressed Asia’s possible significant role in changing that architecture in the context of 6 out of 16 EAS member states being G-20 members. Simultaneously, Kuroda stated that the global recession had resulted in balancing the sources of Asia’s economic growth, stimulating the process of regional integration. 34
The next EAS, held in Hanoi in 2010, celebrated the fifth anniversary of the EAS. To mark the occasion, its participants issued the Hanoi Declaration on the commemoration of the Fifth Anniversary of the EAS. The document, referring to the Kuala Lumpur Declaration and acknowledging East Asia’s growing economic potential and the region’s strategic location as well as its successful cooperation, included a statement on the forum’s future activities (EAS 2010a). The Hanoi Declaration announced the further enhancement of the EAS—a dialogue forum led by government leaders, supporting peace, stability and economic prosperity and stressed ASEAN’s centrality. The Declaration recommended intensified efforts in the previously designated priority areas and stressed the key significance of regional integration achieved through supporting an ASEAN Community and other initiatives (EAFTA and CEPEA). The Declaration supported the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, adopted by the 17th ASEAN Summit, stressing the need for improved connectivity within East Asia’s entire territory (in a physical, institutional and interpersonal dimension), as well as the necessity of taking more effective measures aimed to implement EAS resolutions. Also, the leaders of two countries—the Russian Federation and the USA, were invited to attend EASs as of 2001, as full-fledged participants. 35
The fifth EAS discussed issues of key significance to mutual cooperation. The participants stressed the significance of education as a major factor in the process of narrowing development gaps, supporting human resource development, increasing the region’s competitiveness and achieving sustained economic recovery. They also referred to higher education, acknowledging the announcements of China, Australia and New Zealand to establish scholarship systems for students from EAS developing countries for 2011−2015. The Summit expressed the need for closer cooperation in the areas of energy, counteracting pandemics (H1N1) and disaster management (with attention given to cooperation in agriculture and developing rural areas). The participants called for intensified efforts aimed to facilitate trade and investment movements in East Asia, expressing their determination to finalise the Doha Round. With regard to the still unstable global economic recovery, the leaders stated that EAS countries and their potential could play a more significant role in an international arena (especially within G-20) in restoring global financial stability and achieving sustained economic growth (EAS 2010b).
The sixth EAS, held in the Island of Bali, Indonesia, in November 2011, was attended for the first time by its 18 full-fledged members. 36 The meeting adopted two important documents. The first one was the EAS Declaration on mutually beneficial relations, known as “the Bali Principles”. As the name indicated, the Declaration described principles for regulating EAS relations, being—to a large extent—an interpretation of the principles adopted by the Treaty of Amity and Cooperation in Southeast Asia. The Bali Principles were based on the statements issued by EAS parties concerning such areas as mutual respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, national identity, non-interference in other countries’ internal affairs, rejection of the use or threat of violence in EAS mutual relations (in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations), and peaceful conflict resolution. Also, the declaration recommended that the signatories respect principles related to international law, fundamental freedoms, human rights, social justice, partnership and good neighbourliness, as well as religious, ethnical and cultural diversity in EAS countries. Adopting the Bali Principles, EAS countries made a commitment to foster peace, stability and prosperity, to ensure the flexibility of joint undertakings (especially with regard to economic shocks and natural disasters), and to support beneficial cooperation within the EAS as well as in relations with other regional structures: ASEAN, ASEAN+1, ASEAN+3 and the ARM (EAS 2011a).
The second document adopted at the 2011 EAS was the EAS Declaration on ASEAN Connectivity. The Declaration was directly related to the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity, adopted at the 17th ASEAN Summit in the previous year. The signatories stated that increased intraregional connectivity would be beneficial for all EAS parties (as the result of increased trade and investment, the development of infrastructure and the narrowing of development gaps), and decided to grant priority status to ASEAN connectivity as one of EAS goals. The EAS parties expressed their support for the effective and timely implementation of the Master Plan with regard to the previously mentioned connectivity dimensions (physical, institutional and interpersonal), stressing the significance of two other dimensions: connectivity between continental Southeast Asia and the archipelagos, as well as subregional internal connectivity among ASEAN member states. EAS leaders, regarding ASEAN connectivity to be the first stage of developing EAS connectivity, expressed their intention to support ASEAN connectivity by enhancing their resources, knowledge and exchange of information. Also, they announced carrying out activities in the following areas: increasing the awareness of the significance of the process among private entrepreneurs and the public sector (conferences and workshops), supporting regional private-public partnerships in implementing the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity (bilateral agreements and the use of regional and international funds), as well as promoting interpersonal contacts (continuous learning initiatives, education, tourism and cultural exchange). In addition to that, the EAS parties announced the possibility of adopting the Connectivity Master Plan Plus to include all EAS member states (EAS 2011b).
The sixth EAS announced closer cooperation in EAS six priority areas (including connectivity) as well as in five strategic fields of cooperation. With regard to economic issues, they included international trade and economic integration. Acknowledging the key contribution of trade to global prosperity and sustainable development, the leaders reaffirmed the significance of the successful closing of the Doha Round. With respect to integration processes, the participants expressed the need for economic cooperation based on knowledge, innovation and development strategies, and acknowledged EAS-led activities in narrowing development gaps. They also referred to two research studies on regional integration groups (EAFTA and CEPEA), and decided—similarly to the agreement adopted at the 14th APT Summit of 2011—to establish three new work groups (recommended by Japan and China) for conducting detailed research studies of customs nomenclature, origin of goods and customs procedures. The three remaining strategic cooperation areas within the EAS included maritime projects (ensuring the freedom of sailing, counteracting piracy at sea and sea rescue cooperation), regional and international issues (with attention given to peace, stability and security), disarmament and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons (including strong support for the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula). The EAS parties acknowledged the key role of the Secretariat of ASEAN in supporting the EAS, and considered the possibility of extending the scope of its competences in supporting future EAS activities (EAS 2011c).
The seventh EAS Summit was held in Phnom Penh in November 2012. The parties acknowledged progress in their cooperation in six priority areas (environmental protection and energy, finance, education, reducing the effects of natural disasters, global health issues and pandemic diseases, ASEAN connectivity). They also referred to the successful efforts aimed to strengthen regional economic integration in the context of creating an ASEAN Community, and reaffirmed their commitment to avoiding protectionism and its negative impact on trade and investment. The Summit adopted the Joint Declaration on the Launching of the RCEP Negotiations, and approved the objectives and principles concerning negotiations on the establishment of the RCEP by ASEAN and the parties with which the Association had concluded FTA. EAS parties stressed ERIA’s role in supporting East Asian economic integration within the framework of three pillars: deepening economic integration, narrowing development gaps, and sustainable development (EAS 2012a).
The participants of the Cambodian Summit acknowledged the US initiative to implement the Rapid Disaster Response agreement (mutual assistance in the case of large-scale disasters in the Asia Pacific region), and Japan’s offer of ICT equipment aimed to reduce the effects of disasters. They also acknowledged the proposal made by Indonesia, Brunei and the USA to establish a US–Asia-Pacific Energy Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future for the purpose of ensuring Asia and Pacific’s access to sustainable energy. The participants referred to maintaining peace in the Korean Peninsula, and to maritime and cyber security (EAS 2012a).
The EAS adopted two declarations. The Phnom Penh Declaration on EAS Development Initiative enhances the process of regional integration, stresses the significance of East Asia’s financial initiatives (ABMI, CMIM), encourages EAS countries to promote food and nutrition security (through increasing sustainable production and agricultural productivity), and supports cooperation in energy (EAS 2012b). The second declaration adopted by EAS countries in 2012, the Declaration on Regional Responses to Malaria Control and Addressing Resistance to Antimalarial Medicines, confirms the parties’ engagement in eliminating malaria in the region. For this purpose, the countries intend to apply comprehensive methods including the promotion of public health and easier access to affordable and effective combined medical treatment (EAS 2012c).
The eighth EAS, held in Brunei in 2013, confirmed ASEAN’s central role in EAS, as well as the Association’s engagement in close cooperation with all EAS countries in transforming this organisation into a significant component of a regional institutional structure. EAS reaffirmed its support for establishing an ASEAN Community, acknowledging the ASEAN Secretariat’s activities for the benefit of EAS. The parties approved the Chinese proposal to adopt a plan of action for implementing the Phnom Penh Declaration on EAS Development Initiative. The plan aims to intensify cooperation, especially in six priority areas. The participants of the Summit acknowledged the proposal made by Russia, China and Brunei to strengthen cooperation in security issues in the Asia and Pacific region. They also expressed their appreciation to Indonesia’s proposal concerning the adoption of the Treaty on friendship and cooperation based on TAC in compliance with the Bali principles of 2011 (EAS 2013a).
The participants of the Myanmar Summit touched on the issue of food security (also discussed at the previous meeting), and adopted the Declaration EAS on Food Security (EAS 2013b). It states that food security is a prerequisite for ensuring general security for the region’s inhabitants. For this purpose, the parties to the agreement made a commitment to intensify cooperation in food security in EAS by taking the following measures: improvements in exchanging information aimed to ensure cohesion and transparency in relations among agricultural markets; the exchange of best practices to increase agricultural productivity; closer integration of women farmers and small farmers and fishermen in global supply chains; the development of regional cooperation in fishery and water resource management; support to the protection of natural ecosystems and biological diversity; intensified efforts to adapt to climate change, aimed to ensure the stable and sustainable production of food. Another issue related to eliminating existing protection barriers in agricultural trade, and preventing the introduction of new barriers not complying with WTO agreements (EAS 2013b).
The ninth EAS was held in Nay Pyi Taw in November 2014. The parties reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen cooperation in priority areas, maintaining peace, stability and economic prosperity in the region of East Asia, building an ASEAN Community, and strengthening regional security. In connection with a rapid increase in intraregional trade and financial integration, attention was given to strengthening financial cooperation, especially with regard to new methods for attracting the private sector for the purpose of supporting the region’s infrastructural connections. Discussions on environmental protection and energy focused on deepened cooperation in responding to climate change. In this context, attention was given to maintaining biodiversity, the sustainable development of cities, low carbon growth, as well as alternative and renewable sources of energy. With regard to education, the participants acknowledged the Australian government’s New Colombo Plan, which is expected to comprise all ASEAN countries as of 2015, supporting student exchange programmes. Similar programmes are being implemented by Japan (Tobitate) and the Republic of Korea (Global Korean Scholarship). The participants expressed satisfaction regarding the commencement of activities of Nalanda University in Rajgir, India, in September 2014. In their discussions on public health and pandemic diseases the participants expressed their deep concern over the outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa, and issued the Joint Statement/Declaration on Regional Response to Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease. The document stressed the significance of financial support and practical assistance offered to the most heavily inflicted countries, confirmed the parties’ political commitment to counteracting the virus, and launched an appeal to monitor travellers coming from Ebola-affected countries (EAS 2014b).
With regard to crisis management, the participants of the 2014 EAS Summit stressed the entire region’s vulnerability to disaster risks, referring to the Haiyan (Yolanda) typhoon tragedy in November 2013. Simultaneously, they reaffirmed their commitment to cooperation in effective disaster management with the use of existing mechanisms including EAS and ARF. The participants referred to the key role of connectivity in further regional development, expecting financial support from the future AIIB. Discussions focused on several other issues: strengthening regional economic integration (negotiations on establishing RCEP and TPP), peace and security (disarmament and non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction), maritime cooperation and security (navigation freedom and peaceful conflict resolution), food security (the significance of increasing income levels in agricultural communities, reducing food losses through increasing private investment in transport and warehousing), counteracting terrorism and cross-border crime (including trafficking in human beings, wild animals and drugs). The participants of the EAS Summit condemned the brutal violence and non-tolerance of “the terrorist organisation operating under the name of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” in Syria and Iraq (EAS 2014a), and issued a special statement (EAS 2014c).
The most significant achievements of East Asia summits
Most important event/achievement
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the East Asia Summit (official establishment of EAS)
East Asia Summit Declaration on Avian Influenza Prevention
Initiation of projects in five priority areas (energy, education, finance, bird flu, natural disasters)
Cebu Declaration on East Asian Energy Security
Approval of CEPEA feasibility study
Singapore Declaration on Climate Change
Approval of establishment of ERIA
Cha-Am Hua Hin, Thailand
Cha-am Hua Hin Statement on EAS Disaster Management
Common activities announced to overcome global crisis
Support to initiative to establish Nalanda University
Announcement of strengthening EAS, and confirmation of ASEAN’s central role
Support for Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity
Russian Federation and USA—full-fledged EAS members
Declaration on the Principles for Mutually Beneficial Relations
ASEAN connectivity recognised as an EAS priority area
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Joint Declaration on the Launching of the RCEP Negotiations
Phnom Penh Declaration on EAS Development Initiative
Declaration on Regional Responses to Malaria Control and Addressing Resistance to Antimalarial Medicines
US proposal—US–Asia-Pacific Energy Partnership for a Sustainable Energy Future
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam
Declaration on Food Security
Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar
Joint Statement/Declaration on Regional Response to Outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease
Statement on the Rise of Violence and Brutality Committed by Terrorist/Extremist organisations in Iraq and Syria
Tightened cooperation in education
In conclusion, in the context of increasing Japan–China rivalry for the region’s dominant position, the EAS became a forum which strengthened ASEAN’s centrality in East Asia (similarly to ASEAN+3). This fact was reflected in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration of 2005, in which the signatories recommended that ASEAN set EAS membership criteria. Moreover, a number of documents issued by the EAS reaffirmed ASEAN’s key role in creating regional institutional architecture, simultaneously acknowledging the significant contribution of other entities to the EAS process. In particular, it applied to ASEAN+3, ASEAN+1 as well as transregional (e.g. APEC) and interregional structures (ARF).
This proposal, reflecting Hashimoto’s doctrine, referred to annual ASEAN–Japan summit meetings as well as bilateral meetings with ASEAN member states to discuss security issues (Tow 2001).
Japan’s major problems in its relations with China were posed by the Third Taiwan Strait Crisis resulting from China’s missile tests conducted in March 1996 (the first two crises took place in 1955 and 1958). The conducted tests reflected the Communist Party’s concerns caused by Taiwan’s intensified independence movements and the attempts (futile, as it turned out) to influence Taiwan’s first popular presidential elections (as expected, the winner was Lee Teng-hui). The missile tests resulted in the USA’s demonstration of its maritime military might (two US aircraft carriers sent to the region of Formosa). These events caused Japan’s concerns about East Asia’s security and stability. It should be noted that apart from Japan’s endeavours to maintain the region’s balance of power through cooperation with ASEAN, the government of this country embarked on the process of tightening relations with Russia and the USA (Yuzawa 2007; Tanaka 2007).
On 23 July 1997, Laos and Myanmar joined ASEAN. Cambodia’s accession was postponed due to political conflicts in this country in July 1997. Consequently, Cambodia was ASEAN’s youngest member state upon its accession on 30 April 1999.
ASEAN+1 Summits were initiated for similar reasons (ASEAN’s intention not to disregard geopolitically significant entities). This concept was officially discussed for the first time at the Seventh ASEAN Summit in November 2001, with special attention given to India. The First ASEAN−India Summit was held on 5 November 2002 (accompanying the Eighth ASEAN Summit, at which ASEAN countries agreed to consider a similar method for maintaining relations with Australia).
This period recorded the following political changes (in chronological order): Thailand (November 1997)—prime minister Chavalit Yongchaiyudh stepped down and was replaced by Chuan Leekpai (serving as prime minister until 2001); South Korea—in January 1998, Kim Dae-jung was sworn in as president, replacing Kim Young Sam, who resigned from office due to a corruption scandal (Kim Dae-jung, serving as president until 2003, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000 for promoting democratic principles, human rights and the reconciliation process in the Korean Peninsula and the entire territory of East Asia); Indonesia—in May 1998, following a wave of social unrest, Jusuf Habibie replaced president Suharto (serving as president since 1967), and served his term of office until October 1999); Japan—prime minister Hashimoto was forced to resign in July 1998, replaced by Keizō Obuchi’ego (serving until April 2000); Malaysia—Mahathir, ruling the country since 1981, retained his position, but Anwar Ibrahim, who supported the plan of reforms recommended by the IMF, was dismissed as deputy prime minister and the minister of finance in September 1998.
These changes were accelerated by the visible marginalisation of Japan by its major ally—the USA, accompanied by considerable improvements in US–China relations. From 27 October to 3 November 1997, China’s president Jiang Zemin paid a visit to the USA at the invitation of US president Clinton (the first visit in 12 years). China was revisited by the president Clinton from 25 June to 3 July 1998. During the visit, the US president said he “did not support independence for Taiwan” (this statement was criticised by the US Senate Resolution of 7 July 1998). Moreover, the US president did not consider a visit to Japan during his nine-day visit to China, and he even criticised Japan’s government for mismanaging its economy. This fact, in the context of the US government’s opposition to Japan’s proposal to establish the AMF, considerably weakened the position of the world’s second largest economy in an international arena and, in particular, in the East Asian region. Therefore, Japan’s activities within ASEAN+3 as part of its diplomatic efforts aimed to strengthen this country’s international position (moreover, the Communist Party of China reduced the significance of the Second ASEAN+3 Summit by the participation in the event of its vice president Hu Jintao, while Japan was represented by prime minister Obuchi (Cossa 1998; Tanaka 2007).
The final details related to the scope of EAVG’s authority were agreed at the end of 1999. (Tanaka 2007).
The concept was proposed by Philippine president Joseph Estrada. At that time, the introduction of a single currency in East Asia was supported by Joseph Yam (head of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, HKMA). Hong Kong made endeavours to establish a monetary union with Singapore. The idea of introducing an “Asian euro” was also supported by Robert Mundell—a creator of the theory of optimum currency areas (Gilson 2006; Ravenhill 2006; Pomfret 2011).
Attention should be given to visible similarities between EAVG and EASG concepts for the needs of a vision for APEC’s development, created in the early 1990s by the Eminent Persons Group. The decision to establish EPG was made in September 1992 during the APEC Fourth Ministerial Meeting. One of EPG’s major achievements was the identification of Bogor goals (the group was mainly composed of the advocates of “open regionalism”).
Indeed, Japan and Korea joined TAC in 2004.
Much controversy in Japan–China relations was caused by Japanese prime minister Koizumi, who re-established the tradition of visiting the Yasukuni Shrine, a place commemorating 2.5 million Japanese (including those regarded to be war criminals) killed in 1868–1945 wars (the last visit was paid by prime minister Hashimoto in 1996). Another problem resulted from government-approved textbooks as well as Japan’s inadequate apologies (not expressed in writing) for Japan’s aggression against China. Moreover, in 2002 Japan considered establishing a free trade area with Taiwan, but the idea was abandoned for fear of worsening relations with China.
The priority areas were as follows: economy and trade, environmental protection, human resource development, the ICT sector, culture, investments, tourism, finance, transport, science and technology and security policies.
ASEAN’s proposals (made at bilateral summits) to engage Japan and South Korea (through FDI) in the construction of hydropower plants in CLM countries. In this context, China’s earlier activities in this area deserve attention.
The action plan for implementing the joint Declaration on a comprehensive partnership was adopted at the next Summit in Kuala Lumpur in December 2005 (ASEAN−ROK 2005a).
Apart from ASEAN−Japan, ASEAN−China and ASEAN−Korea Summits, Kuala Lumpur hosted the Fourth ASEAN–India and the First ASEAN–Russia Summit (December 2005).
China offered preferential loans for supporting the implementation of Chinese projects in ASEAN member states. The 2005 Summit announced the contribution of an additional amount of USD 5 billion (USD 3 billion allocated over the previous five years). In addition to that, China’s government committed a package of preferential export loans for developing countries in the amount of USD 10 billion (33 % of this amount to be transferred to ASEAN countries) (ASEAN−China 2005a). At the ASEAN−Japan Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Japan allocated USD 70 million for ASEAN integration processes, and the amount of USD 135 million for counteracting the bird flu pandemic (ASEAN−Japan 2005).
Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia (CEPEA)—a structure composed of a larger number of members than EAFTA (East Asia Summit countries: ASEAN+3, India, Australia and New Zealand). The concept of CEPEA, a structure balancing the regional system of power (from the perspective of Japan’s economic and political interests), was strongly supported by Japan as a competitive solution in relation to China’s favoured EAFTA (composed of only ASEAN+3 countries).
1999—the first statement on cooperation; 2001 and 2002—EAVG and EASG Reports; 2005—the Kuala Lumpur Declaration.
CMIM entered into force on 24 March 2010 (Klecha-Tylec 2014).
It should be stressed that China, intending to support the concept of regional trade liberalisation, contributed the amount of USD 1 million to the APT Cooperation Fund for the EAFTA project (APT 2010a).
ASEAN is currently applying for the right of permanent participation in G-20 summits to be granted to the Association’s member state which undertakes presidency in a given year. A similar solution is applied to relations with the EU (the group’s meetings are attended by the representatives of Germany, the UK, France and Italy). It should be noted that all “plus three” countries are G-20 members, while Indonesia is ASEAN’s only representative in this group of nations.
Talks were intensified as the result of the catastrophic floods in ASEAN’s large territories (mainly in Thailand) as well as the earthquake in Japan on 11 March 2011, referred to as the Great East Japan Earthquake.
This problem was referred to Japan’s initiative to develop an Asian sustainable chemical security plan by 2020, and to discussions on establishing the ASEAN Chemical Data Centre—a bilateral data base (ASEAN–Japan 2011c).
In this context, an emphasis was laid on launching the ASEAN–China Science and Technology Partnership Programme (STEP 2012), which was regarded as a milestone in mutual scientific and technological cooperation.
2017 was proposed as the year of “ASEAN–ROK Cultural Exchange”.
The decision made in April 2012 concerning the direct exchange of Japanese and Chinese currencies. The JPY-RMB exchange (without using the US dollar as an intermediary currency) was aimed to increase mutual trade and investment, contributing to the internationalisation of both currencies.
For this reason, Japan’s assistance offered to Indochina targeted CLV, not CLMV. Myanmar became one of the beneficiaries of the Japanese aid programme as late as in 2011, following the commencement of democratic changes in this country. During the ASEAN−Japan Summit in November 2011, Japan expressed satisfaction over Myanmar’s presidency in ASEAN planned for 2014.
Because of EAS members, the structure was also referred to as ASEAN+6.
Full membership status in the EAS was applied for by the Russian Federation (strongly supported by China), Mongolia and Pakistan (supported by Malaysia) as well as Papua New Guinea (recommended by Australia). The European Union applied for observer status, while the USA expressed intention to attend EAS meetings without specifying a status of its participation (Dent 2008).
The Kuala Lumpur Declaration concerning ASEAN’s approval of full membership in the EAS specified three criteria: holding ASEAN Partner Dialogue status, the adoption of TAC, and a significant contribution to the region’s economic development (Frost 2008).
As the result of urban processes, city population is expected to double by 2030 as compared with 2000, when cities were inhabited by 1.7 billion Asians (EAS 2007c).
In 2009, the region was hit by a number of natural disasters: tropical storm Nangka in June, leading to floods, landslides and tornados in central Philippines; the earthquake of 2 September in Indonesia (the province of West Java) and devastating typhoon Ketsana, which hit large territories in Southeast Asia, leading to floods in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In May 2008, Myanmar was hit by cyclone Nargis, causing huge losses and gigantic floods (the number of deaths was estimated at 200,000, while 800,000 inhabitants were relocated) (Roberts 2010).
The Statement was issued by Vejjajiva Abhisit, the prime minister of Thailand—the country which chaired ASEAN in 2009 and coordinated the East Asia Summit.
It should be noted that the Fourth East Asia Summit supported India’s initiative to re-open the University of Nalanda—an ancient Buddhist site of learning in the Indian State of Bihar. The University operated from the fifth to the twelfth century, offering programmes in mathematics, philosophy, medicine and astronomy to the inhabitants of East and South Asia. The idea to revive the University was initiated in 2007 by the Nalanda Mentor Group, headed by Indian economist Amartya Sen. The University, in accordance with a statement issued at the Fourth East Asia Summit, was to act as a non-governmental, non-profit and self-governing organisation—a centre for educating Asia’s most gifted students (EAS 2009d).
It should be stressed that the Fifth EAS Summit in 2010 was attended by the representatives of the two countries: Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
EAS new member states were represented by US president Barak Obama and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov. The Summit announced possible participation of the president of ADB and the UN Secretary General.
However, China made a proposal to host the Second EAS Summit. The proposal was turned down in favour of Philippines, an ASEAN member state, reducing China’s interest in the EAS forum. China rejected the statement originally included in the Kuala Lumpur Declaration, concerning the major contribution of the EAS to building “East Asia’s Community”, replacing it with a statement on building a “community” (written with a small letter) (EAS 2005a; Frost 2008).
ERIA, established in 2008, was even referred to as “East Asian OECD”—an independent research organisation focused on trade and investment, intellectual property rights, human resource development, industrial and SME development and narrowing development gaps (Otsui, Shinoda 2008).
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