On July 30, at 11:00 Moscow time (GMT+3), the Valdai Club and Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) will hold an online conference titled “The Rise of Regional Multipolarity: The Importance of ASEAN Centrality”.
The COVID-19 pandemic is unfolding to be the biggest shock to global politics and the economy in recent history. Economic instability in Southeast Asia is intensifying due to the pandemic and impacts the geopolitical situation in the region. This is seen, in particular, in the escalating US-China rivalry, China’s presence in the South China Sea, as well as the tumultuous situation in the Korean Peninsula.
The capacity of ASEAN is also being tested – not only under pressures presented by COVID-19 but also due to the lack of cohesion and engagement within the bloc. At the same time, there has been an increase in multilateral cooperation in response to the pandemic: the ASEAN Plus Three COVID-19 Emergency Meeting took place and Indo-Pacific Cooperation on COVID-19 is unfolding. How ASEAN navigates geopolitical developments in the new, post-COVID-19, multipolar world order, will reflect upon the leadership and determine the future effectiveness of its centrality.
With the rivalry between China and the US escalating, Russia’s role as a counterbalance in the region will become even more important. The growing Asia-Pacific market as an alternative pathway to greater integration into the global economy will be key to Russia’s foreign policy.
Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia (FPCI) is a Jakarta-based foreign policy organisation established to discuss and introduce international relations issues to many relevant actors in Indonesia such as diplomats, ambassadors, government officials, academia, researchers, businesses, media, lecturers, think tanks, students and media outlets. Its founder and director Dino Patti Djalal is a frequent participant in the Valdai Club’s conferences.
The speakers will address the following issues: Is there a direct connection between the pandemic and the growth of regional multipolarity? How do Russia and the ASEAN member states see ASEAN centrality in navigating geopolitical developments? How can Russia and ASEAN strengthen their partnership in the post-COVID-19 era? Can the escalation of tensions in Asia be avoided?
The conference will begin with the welcome addresses by Andrey Bystritskiy, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Development and Support of the Valdai Discussion Club and Dino Patti Djalal, Founder and Director of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia.
Richard Heydarian, Research Fellow from National Chengchi University in Taiwan, Expert in ASEAN Centrality;
Bilahari Kausikan, Chair, Chairman of the Middle East Institute at the National University of Singapore and Senior Fellow at the SMU School of Social Sciences;
Alexei Ovchinnikov, Director of the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Asian and Pacific Cooperation Department
Dr. Siswo Pramono, Head/Director General, Policy Analysis and Development Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Republic of Indonesia;
Viktor Sumsky, Head of the ASEAN Centre at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO University) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.
Prof. Dewi Fortuna Anwar, Co-Founder of the Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia.