Foreign Policy Watch: India-ASEAN

What is the East Asia Summit?


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: East Asia SUmmit

Mains level: India-ASEAN Relations

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankhar addressed the East Asia Summit on the last day of his visit to Cambodia, as the three-day Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit concluded.

East Asia Summit

  • Simply, the EAS is an ASEAN initiative and refers to the annual Meeting of Heads of States/Governments of these countries, where they are able to discuss common concerns and interests.
  • Beginning in 2005, 16 participating countries comprised EAS, with their first meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  • These members were the 10 ASEAN countries, Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea.
  • ASEAN’s 10 member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • The United States and the Russian Federation joined at the 6th East Asia Summit in 2011.

Why was it created?

  • Its creation was based on the idea of enhancing cooperation among East Asian countries and those in the neighbouring regions.
  • Six priority areas of cooperation were identified – environment and energy, education, finance, global health issues and pandemic diseases, natural disaster management, and ASEAN Connectivity.

Topics discussed

The following issues have been discussed by the countries

  • Chinese claims over the South China Sea
  • United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS),
  • Terrorism
  • Actions of North Korea and
  • Conflict situation in Myanmar

EAS’s links with India

  • This year marks the 30th anniversary of ASEAN-India relations and is being celebrated as the ASEAN-India Friendship Year.
  • In a joint statement, ASEAN-India acknowledged the deep civilizational linkages, maritime connectivity, and cross-cultural exchanges between Southeast Asia and India.
  • All these have grown stronger over the last 30 years, providing a strong foundation for ASEAN-India relations.

New developments

  • India has announced an additional contribution of USD 5 million to the ASEAN-India science and technology fund.
  • It would enhance cooperation in sectors of public health, renewable energy and smart agriculture.


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