This week, I found an article about the role of ASEAN in world politics. Well, this certainly has nothing to do with the multimedia package that I created even though the cultural bazaar was created by ASEAN Women’s Circle.

The article discusses about what is left in this world for ASEAN when China and India are rising together. It is said that China and India are rivals when it comes to dominating Asia. However, Amitav Acharya, professor of international affairs at American University’s School of International Service, believes that no matter what happens, ASEAN members should stay together and should not be divided into different blocs — to not take any side either for China or India.

The article also said that Indonesia is the key to ASEAN because it is the largest country among ASEAN members. I think that Indonesia has a good chance to show its teeth in politics, at least politics in Asia.

However, sometimes will is not enough. When it comes to politics, countries need power and money. That is why it’s hard for Southeast Asian countries to excel because they basically not that strong in military and economy.

As cliché as it sounds, I still believe that leaders of Southeast Asian countries should look at their countries’ strength and should not take whatever is there. For example, Indonesia is not a master in military; therefore, it should focus on something else like tourism or commodities. If the leaders focus on the strength then it can be improve for better results. If palm oil, for example, is the best commodity that Indonesia has, the government should find a way to maintain its production and its quality. By understanding the strength of the country, the country can optimally depend on it on those strengths. By far, in my opinion, tourism is something that Indonesia should focus more on.

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