Last week’s ASEAN Summit comes at a time of rising geopolitical tensions in the region, including between member states and China. Nevertheless, paralyzed by its commitment to unanimity-based decision-making, ASEAN is either unwilling or unable to check Beijing’s worst instincts. The result is a deepening fragmentation within the bloc.
Many observers believed that the United States’ efforts to reorient its strategic focus to the Indo-Pacific region amid China’s resurgence had hit a snag when Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022. But for now, Washington may actually be accelerating its long-sought rebalance, recalibrating the center of gravity of U.S. foreign policy.