February 26, 2021
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CoC needed
South China Sea challenges pose risks to ASEAN unity The ASEAN meeting in Brunei has ended with a joint communiqué which promises that ASEAN and China will work more closely to find an amicable solution to South China Sea dispute after Beijing agreed that it is ready to look into the drafting of a Code of Conduct. A CoC is necessary to bring down the tension in the South China Sea which can prevent parties to get into a confrontation either by choice or miscalculation but the outcome will be a disaster for the whole region. This time the leaders of Brunei, the current ASEAN Chair, at least showed remarkable courage and statesmanship to discuss the issue of South China Sea dispute which involves almost half of ASEAN members who are claimants of over 60 odd islands and tolls located in the blue ocean surface. Last year, around this time Cambodia which was previous ASEAN Chair, had failed to issue a joint communiqué that created lot of misunderstanding among ASEAN members as it was against the tradition of 45 years history of ASEAN.     The mutual understanding and collective security mechanism should be the ideal way to go for a lasting solution and it has been seen it has guaranteed stability and peace in the long term than trying to find a quick fix solution. Last month, during a seminar organized by Centre for Asian Strategic Studies-India (CASS-India) in Thai capital of Bangkok on ASEAN unity and maritime challenges in
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