ASEAN Academic Days: lecture by Jittipat Poonkham

16 November 2020

On November 16th, the third online-lecture within the framework of the course of public lectures “ASEAN Academic Days 2020” was held by the ASEAN Centre.

The third speaker was Dr. Jittipat Poonkham (PhD Aberystwyth University; MPhil Oxford University), Director of International Studies Program and Assistant Professor in International Relations in the Faculty of Political Science at the Thammasat University (Thailand). The meeting was moderated by Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova, Associate Professor at the Department of Asian and African Studies and ASEAN Centre’s Senior Expert.

The lecture by Dr. J.Poonkham was focused on ASEAN Vision on the “Pax Indo-Pacific” concept and its impact on the Southeast Asia. The speaker gave a brief historic review of the concept and highlighted its key points. He noted that by today there are at least 8 different approaches to the “Indo-Pacific” concept. Dr. Jittipat Poonkham believes that the US strategy in the Indo-Pacific region aims to maintain its leading role in the region and to contain the rise of China. While the ASEAN Vision on Indo-Pacific region initiated by Indonesia is based on several pillars, namely ASEAN centrality, adherence to the principle of consensus and comprehensive approach to the security issues. The speaker stressed that the ASEAN Outlook on Indo-Pacific is a leading from “Middle Strategy” that aims at hedging with great powers by binding them with the rule-or-norm order in the region and by initiating region-wide politico-diplomatic innovations.

The lecture was followed by a Q&A Session. The raised questions were focused on the US foreign policy under the new president’s administration of Joe Biden, Russia’s view on the Indo-Pacific concept, prospects of cooperation between ASEAN and EEC, and different approaches of ASEAN member-states to the Indo-Pacific concept.

Among the participants were present Dr. Victor Sumsky, ASEAN Centre’s Director, H.E. Dato' Bala Chandran Tharman, Ambassador of Malaysia to Russia and H.E. Sadasivan Premjith, Ambassador of Singapore to Russia, as well as other representatives of the ASEAN diplomatic missions in Moscow. The lecture was also attended by students and professors from MGIMO and other leading universities of Russia, Thailand and Indonesia (MSU IAAS, HSE, Diplomatic Academy, RSUH, UNN). The online-format of the meeting made it possible to engage a number of participants from different countries (Russia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Estonia). The online translation of the event was provided at the MGIMO YouTube channel, MGIMO and ASEAN Centre’s Facebook pages.

The next events in the framework of the “ASEAN Academic Days 2020” are scheduled for November-December. The announcements and the registration form will be available at the ASEAN Centre’s website and Facebook page.