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Restructuring the ASEAN Political-Security Community (APSC): Philippine Prospects for Regional Collective Defense and Stronger Military Relations

Economic development through greater regional cooperation was the primary aim of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) when it was formed on August 8, 1967 by the founding countries of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. Although one of the motivations at that time of forming the association was the common fear of communist expansion (especially in Vietnam) and insurgency within their respective borders, the ASEAN has not ventured into creating a military alliance to promote “regional peace and stability”. Hence, the ASEAN is formally recognized as an economic organization with no military obligations tying member nations. But with the recent rise of security tensions, primarily caused by the aggressive actions taken by China against the Philippines and…