Cambodia seeks to sink joint ASEAN naval drills

Indonesia proposal for first-ever bloc exercises in South China Sea meets vocal resistance from China’s top regional ally Cambodia.

Rising Sino-American rivalry and fears of an accidental superpower clash are forcing states to step up their diplomatic games.

That’s particularly true for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which is now scrambling to forge greater internal unity and nudge the US and China toward greater dialogue to avoid a conflict in its neighborhood.

Indonesia, the current chair of ASEAN, announced this month that it will soon host the first-ever naval drills among member states in order to reinforce “ASEAN centrality” amid the “high risk of disaster in Asia, especially Southeast Asia.”

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