The proverbial “man from Mars” would see immediately the fundamental importance of ASEAN to Australia. This is the region of Asia geographically closest to Australia—a region of growing states, with economies no longer small by Australian standards; a region offering great economic opportunities, but also where Australia must work hard to negotiate the defense, immigration, quarantine, policing, and other border issues that are considered of fundamental importance to the Australian national community. Today Southeast Asia is beginning to be viewed as the priority region by Japan and the Republic of Korea (ROK)—the prime minister of Japan visited every ASEAN capital in 2013—and is taken increasingly seriously by the United States. Yet it might be argued that no external country has a larger stake in this region than Australia. The problem is that Australians—with a few notable exceptions—do not see things in these terms, and nor do many Southeast Asians. The chapters in this book provide not only an overview of Australia-ASEAN relations, detailing the history and throwing light on the breadth of our interactions with the region, but also help us to appreciate how and why the Australia-ASEAN relationship has been neglected.
|Title of host publication||The Australia-ASEAN Dialogue: Tracing 40 years of Partnership|
|Editors||Sally Percival Wood and Baogang He|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|Publisher||Palgrave Macmillan Ltd|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|