Jokowi asked that ASEAN not be used as an arena of rivalry.
President Joko Widodo chaired the ASEAN-United States (US) Summit which was held at the JCC, Senayan, Jakarta, Wednesday (6/9/2023). During the meeting, the US side was led by Vice President Kamala Harris.
Jokowi said to Kamala Harris that ASEAN would continue to play its role in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region. “Your Excellency, ASEAN has agreed to continue carrying out its function as a locomotive for regional peace and stability, where the Indo-Pacific must become a platform for collaboration,” he said.
“Therefore, ASEAN invites the US to be a positive force in creating a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific through concrete, inclusive cooperation,” added Jokowi.
The 43rd ASEAN Summit has echoed the unity and centrality of ASEAN. ASEAN is reluctant to be drawn into the struggle for influence in the Indo-Pacific involving major powers, especially the US and China.
When opening the ASEAN Summit on Tuesday (5/9/2023), Jokowi emphasized that ASEAN would not be a proxy for any party. He also asked that ASEAN not be used as an arena for rivalry.
Meanwhile in her remarks at the ASEAN-US Summit, Kamala Harris revealed, the US has a long-term commitment to Southeast Asia and more broadly to the Indo-Pacific. “The American people have a huge stake in the future of the Indo-Pacific. We share historic ties and common values with many people and countries here,” said Kamala.
Kamala said that ASEAN is the center of US commitment to the Indo-Pacific. As the US Indo-Pacific strategy underscores, we are committed to ASEAN centrality and I am pleased that our collective vision for the Indo-Pacific shares such strong alignment,” he said.
When opening the ASEAN Summit last Tuesday, Jokowi said that currently the world is not doing well. The struggle for influence between the great powers is ongoing. However, Jokowi emphasized that ASEAN had agreed not to become a proxy for any power.
“Don’t make our ship, ASEAN, an arena for devastating rivalry. “But make ASEAN ships a field for growing cooperation, to create prosperity, create stability, create peace not only for the region but also the world,” said Jokowi.
In his remarks, Jokowi also emphasized ASEAN unity. “Lately, I often hear public statements regarding ASEAN, namely whether ASEAN will be divided and cannot unite? Is the ASEAN ship able to keep going?” he said.
“At this moment, as a family member and chairman of ASEAN, I want to emphasize that ASEAN unity is still well maintained,” Jokowi added.
Source : Republika