Towards a clear strategic vision
Re: "Opportunity in the US pivot toward Asia", Opinion, February 26.
Professor Steven Phillips' list of suggestions to guide America's Asia policy could be supplemented with guidelines already adopted by consensus by the leaders of the 18 countries participating in the East Asia Summit (EAS).
In a November 2011 declaration, the 10 members of ASEAN along with Australia, China, India, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, Russia and the US declared their willingness to create a peaceful environment to further enhance cooperation and strengthen their existing bonds of friendship. In keeping with the principles of equality, partnership, consultation and mutual respect, all will contribute to peace, stability and prosperity in the world.
They clearly declared that they are guided in their relations by fundamental principles of international law, including renunciation of the threat to use force or the use of force itself against another state, and settlement of differences and disputes by peaceful means.
In light of this declaration, a diplomatic compass solidly based in international law is needed to implement a clear strategic vision that can guide the EAS countries toward fruitful multilateral cooperation.