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The EU, China and Southeast Asia: Divergent Views of Dealing with Human Security. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 14 No. 8, May 2014

Weber, Katja (2014) The EU, China and Southeast Asia: Divergent Views of Dealing with Human Security. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 14 No. 8, May 2014. [Working Paper]

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    Introduction. This chapter takes a closer look at the European Union (EU), China, and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)’s respective approaches to dealing with non-traditional security (NTS) challenges by investigating their policies toward Burma/Myanmar—a source country of numerous such challenges. It argues that, although all, as members of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), see the need for multilateral solutions to fight organized crime, provide disaster relief, combat terrorism, prevent drug trafficking, etc., they differ with respect to the steps to be taken to protect human security in Asia-Pacific. China, initially hesitant to join the ARF for fear that other members might try to contain it, has come to value the principal forum for NTS challenges in the Asia-Pacific region since, like many ASEAN countries, it is a big proponent of non-interventionism, non-use of force, consensus decision-making, that is, the confidence-building mechanisms commonly referred to as the ‘ASEAN way’.2 The EU, as a strong proponent of human rights and the rule of law, repeatedly, has criticized ARF members for allowing sovereignty-related norms to get in the way of the protection of human rights, but it has refrained from assuming the role of norm exporter. As will be seen in the case of Burma/Myanmar, the EU does make its opinions heard and, when necessary, will take unilateral steps not supported by the ASEAN members of the ARF but, cognizant of the history of the region, for the most part, settles for supporting economic development and aiding in capacity-building, understanding that it would be counter-productive to exert pressure on reluctant ARF members to modify the non-interference norm. The chapter then speculates about the ‘ASEAN way’s’ longevity, arguing that, increasingly, there are internal and external dynamics that seem to indicate that the ‘ASEAN way,’ at least in its current form, may not be here to stay. The conclusion looks at what might be in store for Burma/Myanmar in the years to come.

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    Item Type: Working Paper
    Subjects for non-EU documents: EU policies and themes > External relations > EU-Asia-general > East and Southeast Asia
    Countries > China
    Subjects for EU documents: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Series and Periodicals: UNSPECIFIED
    EU Annual Reports: UNSPECIFIED
    Series: Series > University of Miami, Florida-EU Center of Excellence > Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series
    Depositing User: Unnamed user with email
    Official EU Document: No
    Language: English
    Date Deposited: 04 May 2015 15:33
    Number of Pages: 22
    Last Modified: 04 May 2015 15:33

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