External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar said that the East Asia Summit (EAS) must be committed to a free, open, inclusive, and rules-based Indo-Pacific, with respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
- The EAS has 18 members – the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) along with Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States.
- India is one of the founding members of the East Asia Summit.
EAS is an initiative of ASEAN and is based on the premise of the centrality of ASEAN.
There are six priority areas of regional cooperation within the framework of the EAS. These are:
- Environment and Energy
- Global Health Issues and Pandemic Diseases
- Natural Disaster Management
- ASEAN Connectivity
Maritime Cooperation has emerged as a significant priority area of cooperation in recent times. India hosted the EAS Conference on Maritime Security and Cooperation on 9-10 November 2015 in New Delhi which called for a more cooperative and integrated future for the region through overall development of the ocean-based blue economy.
History of the East Asia Summit
- The idea behind the East Asia Summit was first mooted by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad.
- During the ASEAN Plus Three Summit held in 2004, there was a consensus among the leaders, to hold the East Asian Summit (EAS).
- Since its establishment, ASEAN has held the central role and leadership in the forum. EAS meetings are held after the annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings and play an important role in the regional architecture of Asia-Pacific.
- The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005.
Role of ASEAN
Since its establishment, ASEAN has held the central role and leadership in the forum.
EAS meetings are held after the annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings and play an important role in the regional architecture of Asia-Pacific.
Importance of East Asia
- Important Nations:
- The eastern region of Asia consists of the Asian nations, Greater China (Greater China consists of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan), Japan, Mongolia, North Korea and South Korea.
- Economic benefit:
- It represents nearly 50 per cent of the world’s population with 20 per cent of global trade and comprises 16 nations that are on a dynamic path of economic development.
- Regional Security:
- Considering tension in the Korean Peninsula, South China and in the Taiwan Strait, among others, it is vital for Japan, China and South Korea to maintain a common stance and to share a common concern for security in the East Asian region.
- Global Implications:
- An East Asia community would play a big role in instilling a sense of responsibility in Asian countries and in leading them jointly in contributing to the resolution of global issues.