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Long live ASEAN!

It is not unusual for pundits to say the Association of Southeast Asian Nations is doomed to fail, or the end of ASEAN is coming. In fact, it has been said since its creation.

After all, with nations that are so colorful as those in ASEAN, everyone can question how the organization will stick together. But the organization has survived for 55 years. More than that, ASEAN has expanded from five to 10 members, and is making steps toward 11.

There are three rationales, conscious or unconscious. behind the naysayers’ arguments.

First is the misperception that new members add burdens for ASEAN. Second is the misperception that the older members are always united and aligned. And third is a sense of hopelessness over ASEAN’s slow action on divisive international and regional issues.

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