“Moreover, as other countries move in, Beijing will undoubtedly seek to reinforce its influence to avoid losing its preferential position and accompanying leverage,” she said
The competition between the two powers will turn up the heat on ASEAN at the most critical juncture in its history.
“If we are not fully united and integrated, we can become the victim of external powers,” ASEAN Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan told the Jakarta Post newspaper. “We must develop an ASEAN perspective on every issue. We should not come in with separate individual interests.”