Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Will Myanmar do a Cambodia at the ASEAN Summit?

Pres. Benigno Aquino III is expected to push for a legally-binding code of conduct in the disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea at Myanmar.

ASEAN members who have a more or less direct stake in the issue (i.e. Vietnam, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia and Singapore) are expected to support this initiative.  The long-term integrity of their territorial possessions in the area will probably depend on it.

Some ASEAN members (take note, not all) who do not have a direct stake in the issue, on the other hand, might seize this as a golden opportunity to wrangle economic carrots from Beijing.

Cambodia played this stalking horse strategy in the past.  Expect them to do it again.

But in situations like this, the most valuable foreign policy Judas act of all from the viewpoint of Beijing will be that of the host.

Only the na├»ve, therefore, would still believe that, by this time, Beijing has not yet greased the proverbial wheel that will compel Myanmar to do a Brutus on the rest of us.

Et tu Myanmar?

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