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Asia And The Pacific: Expanding Relations From Bilateral To Multilateral

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals primarily with Southeast Asia supplemented by some other parts of the Eurasian continent and Pacific region. The basic security structure which evolved in the region was a bilateral security arrangement between the country concerned and the United States. The diversity of the countries of the region in history, ethnicity, religion, population, size of the territory, per capita GDP, economic system, and political structure, or, in other words, the lack of common ground and experience in Asia, formed a psychological and substantive obstacle to the creation of a regional and multilateral institution. The historical and geopolitical circumstances dictated that it was the Southeast Asian countries that were to set the tone and pace of this process towards multilateralism.

Keywords: bilateral security arrangement; multilateralism; Southeast Asia; United States

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