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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Inter-state tensions in Southeast Asia: causes and consequences 1.

Causes of inter-state tensions: historical animosities, racial and religious divisions, ideological differences, territorial disputes, security, economic links/ policies, external powers 2. Consequences of these tensions: effects on regional cooperation and security 3. Conflict resolution 1. CAUSES 1. Historical Animosities Thailand-Burma Ancient animosities pre-20th century A) Burmese invasions of Thailand in 1569 and 1764* 1569: Burma invades Thailand and occupies the capital Ayudhya for 34 years before Siamese King Naresuan retakes it. The name of Burmese King Bayinnaung remains a source of hatred for the Thais. 1764: Another invasion where Burmese troops ransacked Ayudhya literally every valuable in the city was torched or taken away by Burmese troops. These events created long-lived memories in the Thais of the cruelty and evil in the Burmese, colouring their attitudes towards the Burmese up to the 20th century. Memories were kept alive by historical writing. Monks were also chroniclers; they in particular suffered under the hands of the Burmese when their temples were ransacked and destroyed Recent animosities pre-war (first half of 20th century) & period before independence B) Sustained memories of hostile Thai-Burma relationship was fuelled by the mass (novels, films, TV dramas), further entrenching the Burmese stereotype. Such historical leitmotifs were common themes in the media. Since 1995 at least half a dozen docu-dramas have been produced relating to the Thai wars against Burma, reinforcing the notion that Thai-Burmese relations were about war. In 2001 the Thai film The Legend of Suriyothai dramatized the exploits of the Queen who was killed by the Burmese army, and became the most successful Thai film ever. Qn: Why is there such emphasis? State-directed to promote national unity through the cultivation of hostility towards an external enemy. Started in 1932 when the nationalists came to power; served as nationalist propaganda. Anti-Burmese sentiment was the outcome of political maneuvering by the Thai government and especially the military regimes to stir up a sense of nationalism and legitimize their ruling authority by claiming that they, like their brave ancestors who fought against Burma, take as their primary concern the task of protecting the nation, religion and monarchy from external attack. Qn: What is the significance of nationalism in inter-state tensions? C) Sustained comparison between Burma and Thailand in terms of history and character. In historical terms: o Thais constantly harped on Burma as a symbol of weakness for being (1) colonized and (2) a failed model of democracy. Encouraged an attitude of superiority in the Thais over the Burmese. o Similarly, the Burmese used history to celebrate Burmas past victories over Thailand in an uninhibited manner by erecting a statue of King Bayinnuang right on the Thai border deliberately to provoke the Thais. This invoked a
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation statue war In terms of the belief in fundamental difference in character o Burmese seen as primitive, extreme, cruel, and labeled as the Other. This enabled the Thais to develop an attitude that was helpful to the Thai nationalist government. o Similarly, the Burmese had a stereotype of the Thai character. Referred to them as yodaya, which was what Thailand was historically called when they attacked Burma in a state of weakness. Called the Thais spiritually and physically weak and insincere people who were always willing to exploit weakness.

D) WWII: Thai collaboration with the Japanese by acting as the base to launch Japanese invasion into Burma confirmed Burmese suspicions of the Thais sly and cunning nature. In fact, the Thais profited from this collaboration and Japans invasion in IndoChina by means of territorial gain (2 Shan states in north of Burma). There was also considerable resentment over the fact that Thailand suffered minimal damage, while Burma suffered catastrophic physical damage. Cambodia-Vietnam historical antagonisms + other antagonisms derived from it A) Myth of epic historical tripartite confrontation between Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam, where Vietnam played the role of national enemy and villain. Cambodia was a vessel state of both Thailand and Vietnam, caught in the middle of a competition between the two for Cambodian territory and influence over it. Cambodia suffered massive collateral damage, and the destruction was mainly caused by Vietnam of a particularly brutal kind o Explains why there was no Cambodian nationalism because they were happy to have French colonial protection. The Vietnamisation campaign launched to transform Cambodia in all its cultural aspects in Vietnamese-occupied territories (lowland Kampuchea and East of Siemreap in 1830s), as well as the superior attitudes of the Vietnamese towards the Khmers who were seen as uncivilized barbarians, earned the Vietnamese this status of Cambodias national enemy. o This links to racial animosities derived from historical animosities, for the Vietnamese historically behaved with brutality towards the Khmers due to the perception that their culture was far superior to the Cambodians. B) Distortion of history to stir up nationalist sentiments, mainly from the Cambodian perspective. Various governments of Cambodia exploited the history to sustain CambodianVietnam tensions for their political purposes. Leaders who did this included Sihanouk, Lon Nol and Pol Pot (Black Paper). o To what extent are historical animosities manufactured/ representative of genuine long-term national grievances? C) Territorial disputes derived from historical antagonisms Territorial loss of Cambodian land to Vietnam during the conflict was what used to be lower Cambodia Kampuchea Krom. The resulting resentment of the loss of territory and the irredentist desires continued into the post-colonial period. French colonial rule (historical antagonism in the form of legacy of colonialism) worsened Cambodia-Vietnam territorial disputes by fixing the frontiers between Cambodia and Vietnam To what extent does colonial rule worsen inter-state tensions? o Significance: Cambodia suffered permanent territorial loss that was
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation enshrined in law. French forced Thailand to give back Battambang and Siemreap that they gained in the conflict, which gave Cambodians the idea/ hope that they could regain lost territory greater degree of consciousness of lost territory. This resulted in a kind of elite Cambodian irredentist nationalism, especially amongst the Cambodian aristocrats on territorial issues. French created Indochina joining Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam together to create a colonial entity. o Made it worse because Vietnam was elder brother who could get most of the attention because of its economic opportunities. o Vietnamese sense of superiority was accentuated

D) Racial antagonisms derived from historical antagonisms (legacy of colonialism) French ethnic rule o French encouraged large-scale Vietnamese migration to Cambodia, where they became an advantaged class because the French preferred them as workers by the 1950s there were 300000 Vietnamese in Cambodia. o Vietnamese tended to be the businessmen and entrepreneurs (took the role of the Chinese in other SEA countries), and Vietnamese children tended to monopolize education. o Ethnic nationalism that was anti-Vietnamese hence emerged, just as it did in Malaya and Burma. E) Ideological divergences derived from historical antagonism 1930s: Development of Communism in Indochina, which became the dominant version of nationalism in Vietnam. There was a smaller movement in Cambodia, and even in this aspect, Vietnamese saw themselves as the leaders of Indochinese Communism. o Indochinese Communist Party (1930) was meant to be a united revolution. There was no place for Cambodian revolution, only an Indochinese revolution led by the Vietnamese. When Pol Pot came to power, Cambodia became Communist and this created tensions as the Vietnamese tried to influence (manipulate) them, creating an ideological rift between the two followers of communism o Cambodian communists were suspicious of Vietnamese communists for a long time, marked by a series of betrayals led to suspicion of the special relationship that the Vietnamese were proposing. o 1st betrayal: Vietnamese betrayal in Geneva Accords (1954) which sacrificed the Cambodian communist movement Vietnamese advised Cambodians either to take refuge in Hanoi or rely on unarmed struggle if they remained in Cambodia. This strategy resulted in virtual annihilation of the communist movement in Kampuchea. o 2nd betrayal: Vietnam signed a separate ceasefire agreement in 1973 with the US, leaving the Kampucheans battling US power alone. At the same time there was a reduction in Vietnamese logistical support, which seemed designed to pressure the Cambodian communists into ceasefire talks.

Indonesia-Malaysia A) Malaysian Federation destroyed the hopes of a greater Indonesia and cut across a long history of links and aspirations Sukarno had always been interested in the historical concept of Indonesia Raya (a greater Indonesia). However, the Malaysian Federation had upset this vision and power system.
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation The formation of Malaysia itself was seen as an artificial colonial creation, a consequence of British rule. Hence, Konfrontasi was necessary to keep this threat away.

Singapore-Malaysia A) Short-term historical antagonisms In 1964, the PAP decided to contest the Malaysian General Elections and this was significant for long-term tensions. It created suspicions about the political ambitions of LKY, particularly his ambition to become Prime Minister of Malaysia. o His plan was to make himself the leader of the Malaysian Chinese at the expense of the MCA and the animosity between PAP and MCA leaders continued to generate tensions post-breakup. Also, politics in Malaysia was communal organised according to racial lines that led to the maintenance and enshrinement of Malay privileges. o The PAP stood for non-communal politics as well as socialism, articulating a vision of a non-Communal and equal Malaya a Malaysian Malaysia. o Notably, on 6 June 1965, the PAP established the Malaysian Solidarity Convention and Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Toh Chin Chye outlined the agenda for a Malaysian Malaysia. o This was very provocative and polarised Malaysian politics between those who advocated a non-Communal approach and the Malay extremists, the Ultras, culminating in the Tungkus decision for separation. Thus the alternative vision for Malaysia threatened privileges and the image of the PAP and LKY as a Chinese challenge to Malay supremacy would continue after separation, leading to a pervasive overhang in subsequent relations. 2. Racial/ Religious Differences Cambodia-Vietnam Generally, the Vietnamese treated the Cambodians as barbarians. There was a sense that the Sinitic culture was superior, and that those not part of it was inferior and barbaric. They regarded the Cambodians as primitive and lesser, and hence treated them much more brutally. Similarly, the Cambodians considered the Vietnamese to be brutal, aggressive savages French ethnic rule exacerbated this racial tension (racial antagonisms derived from colonial legacy) o French encouraged large-scale Vietnamese migration to Cambodia, where they became an advantaged class because the French preferred them as workers by the 1950s there were 300000 Vietnamese in Cambodia. o This colonial experience reinforced the Vietnamese self-perception of their superiority over the Cambodians. o Vietnamese tended to be the businessmen and entrepreneurs (took the role of the Chinese in other SEA countries), and Vietnamese children tended to monopolize education. o Ethnic nationalism that was anti-Vietnamese hence emerged, just as it did in Malaya and Burma. o Later in the struggle for independence, the decisive victory of the Vietminh yet again consolidated the leadership position of Vietnam among the Indochinese countries. Under Lon Nol, overt ethnic tensions began to develop. o When he deposed Sihanouk in early 1970, Lon Nol almost immediately executed a pogrom against Vietnamese living in Cambodia. o This was a massacre of around 4000 Vietnamese, which greatly angered them.
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Under Pol Pot, the ethnic hatred was explicitly stirred up. o His genocide started with the killing of Vietnamese, but he even went on to murder Cambodians, he justified his killings by saying that they had Khmer bodies with Vietnamese minds. o Hatred of the Vietnamese race extended to Cambodians living in Kampuchea Krom under Vietnamese rule. Pol Pot was distrustful of the Khmer Krom community and saw them as culturally impure, permanently stained by the Vietnamese. Thus, the Khmer Krom were sometimes singled out for particular abuse in the genocide, clearly with a racial agenda.

Singapore-Malaysia A) 1964 race riots Prior to the riots, ultras within UMNO also incited Malay emotions in an UMNOsponsored convention. o Initially intended as a forum to discuss the Malay situation, it degenerated into angry shouts against LKY, led by UMNO Sec-Gen Syed Jaafar Albar. o Claimed that Malays in Singapore were oppressed and suppressed either subtly or blatantly, and called to drive the Chinese out. st 21 July: UMNO exploited the celebration of Prophet Mohammeds birthday by making inflammatory speeches to a huge public rally at Padang. o Malays were called upon to fight for their rights to show them (nonMuslims) that Malays can unite and arise. Note here the conflation of race and religion. o Inflammatory anti-Chinese leaflets were distributed exhorting Malays to destroy the Chinese PAP. o Riots broke out and continued over the next 21 days, killing 21 and injuring 460. The Chinese took retaliatory action over the course of the riots. B) Ideological divergences derived from racial antagonisms Conflict enlarged to a broader ideological dispute with its roots in racial tensions, between PAPs vision of a non-communal Malaysian Malaysia versus the Alliances belief in a communal Malay Malaysia. The PAP participation in the 1964 elections was seen as a Chinese challenge to Malay supremacy and so the PAP was an enemy to the Malay community. In 1965, the PAP then formed the Malaysian Solidarity Convention (MSC) which was a united front of opposition parties advocating a Malaysian Malaysia. o It widened racial rifts as it was seen as an attempt to affect a Chinese takeover of Malaysia. o It claimed to be non-communal, but in practice appealed mainly to the nonMalays, particularly the Chinese. Its aim inevitably implied the withdrawal of Malay privileges. o Tragically, the thrust and impact of the MSC was to unite non-Malays against Malays. The total effect of the MSC appeal was communal. C) Separation LKYs remarks so much provoked Malay fury that the Tunku feared serious racial violence if merger with Singapore was not terminated. There was a possibility that this could be resolved by arresting LKY, but there was a broader racial issue, LKY being a Chinese with many followers, that made this too dangerous. D) Herzog Crisis (1986) Untimely visit of the Israeli President to Singapore to consolidate military links shortly after Mahathir had given a very anti-Zionist speech to whip up support for
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation his own government by appealing to Islamic solidarity. Mahathir took it as a personal affront of Singapore undermining his government. Response: Anger in Malaysia entered a serious phase with popular protests, reflecting intrinsic anti-Singaporean sentiments of the Malaysians with racial and religious undertones. o Extremists accused Singapore of her purported role in an Israeli invasion against Malaysia and testing of an Israeli nuclear bomb on surrounding Malay countries o Criticized Singapore for falling into foreign hands even though they originally belonged to the Muslims. Singapore used this episode to demonstrate to the public her vulnerability and the dangers of Malaysian hostility. o Brought to question the Singaporean-Malay loyalty, which LKY stated had more of a Malay/Muslim rather than Singaporean emphasis. o The press translated Malaysian vernacular press articles into English and reported them ad verbatim; the strong racial and nationalistic anti-Singapore emotions shocked Singaporeans, thereby achieving a domestic objective by further inflaming relations between the two states.

E) Pedra Branca Provoked a popular out-pouring of anti-Singapore religious and racial emotions. The Watan (Malaysian newspaper) carried an emotional commentary, likening Singapores stance as similar to the Jews who tried to cheat history with regard to Palestine because their military strength was supported by US-made weapons. The PAS paper Harakah referred to Singapore as an infidel, adding that PAS did not want Malaysians to meet the same fate as the Bosnians. Singapore-Indonesia A) Habibie (Post-Suharto) accused Singapore of racism in defence of his own policy against the Chinese. o Used the fact that Malays would never be given military officer positions in SAF. o Singapore was particularly sensitive to this because it based its whole nation building exercise on Singapores multiracialism and racial harmony. o Habibie took this provocative stance because of the Chinese businessmen who fled from Indonesia. They had taken huge amounts of money which they deposited in Singapore banks. B) Indonesia demanded the extradition of the Indonesians who fled to Singapore but Singapore was not proactive in the process, as the Chinese-governed Singapore was perceived to be protecting their fellow Chinese individuals. o However, it was more likely that Singapore simply wished to keep the money within its own banks. C) LKY made inflammatory racial remarks as well that added fuel to the flames. o The attitude of Malaysia and Indonesia towards the Republic was shaped by the way they treated their own ethnic Chinese minorities. o Commented that they wanted the SGP Chinese to be like their Chinese compliant (Indonesian and Malaysian Chinese since the 1965 massacre changed their names to Indonesian names, and the Chinese cronies were willing to lend the government money anytime. Singapore was seen to be the international equivalent of their local wealthy Chinese.) 3. Ideological Differences Thailand-Burma A) Positions of Thailand and Burma in the Cold War more reflective of security
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation rather than ideological concerns Thailand: Joined SEATO in 1954 aligned with the US. Burma: Signed treaty with China which put Burma on the socialist side of the Cold War battleground Socialism enshrined in its Constitution. As members of the opposite camps, there was ideologically-based mutual suspicion (ideological divide on the surface). Problem: Thailand aligned itself with US in fear of communism, and Burma was fighting a communist rebellion within the state it is reductive to say that Burma and Thailand were divided ideologically. Their relationship was more complex than that. As the 1950s went on, Burmas foreign policy was increasing characterized by neutrality rather than Cold War rhetoric ideology did not clearly contribute to inter-state tensions though Thailand was aligned.

Cambodia-Vietnam A) Sihanouks policy of neutrality priority was survival rather than ideological. While Sihanouk considered allying himself with the Americans against the Communists, he decided it was best not to associate with external powers due to their weaknesses and ideological bellicosity. His imperatives were to prevent any return to colonial or quasi-colonial status and to preserve the integrity of his borders. If he sided with either of the two Cold War powers or their proxies, he could end up losing some or all of his territory. Siding with either side would guarantee the hostility of the other bloc. But maintaining his distance might lead them to compete for his favour. Sihanouks neutrality on tensions worked to some extent in North Vietnam as it enabled him to negotiate rationally with them. o 1954: North Vietnam guaranteed to respect the sovereignty of Cambodia as long as Sihanouk guaranteed no American military bases in Cambodia. B) Sihanouks lack of importance of ideology caused tensions instead pragmatism was dominant over ideology 1965: Watershed year where Sihanouk breaks off relations with US, thereby abandoning his policy of neutrality. One of the reasons why Sihanouk did this was because he believed that the pro-US regime in Saigon was about to fall. Hence, he aligned his policy towards Hanoi in anticipation of a communist victory Shows that Sihanouks policy changes were out of pragmatic considerations rather than any single ideology. He was willing to cooperate with the North despite his suspicions of the communists if it made practical sense. o However, the Viet Cong still made this movement towards Hanoi difficult by creating tensions as its presence was a cause for concern and antagonism since it was increasingly using Cambodia as a sanctuary to avoid the ongoing Vietnam War Sihanouks calculations turned out to be wrong, so he changed his policy again to support the US. C) Ideological differences between Vietnam and Cambodian communists led by Pol Pot disallowed cooperation Diverged over time due to different time periods, evolving in different ways could not cooperate and think along the same lines. o VCP descended from the Communist Party in the 1930s and 1940s (created in much earlier times as compared to the CPK, and does not change its outlook from then). There was great emphasis on the international solidarity/
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation cooperation and coordination between socialist groups and countries concept of socialist bloc. Important aspect of the Communist World View CPK only took proper institutional form in the 1960s. This was the period of the Sino-Soviet split, where there were 2 communist groups and this destroyed the Soviet bloc. Cambodian communists could not expect to get much international help under these circumstances concluded on the need for self-reliance. Worse still, when it launched an armed struggle against Sihanouk in 1968 it found that China disagreed with its actions and Vietnam and Russia opposed it, this led to its belief in the unreliability of the Socialist bloc. o Overall, the Vietnamese insisted on cooperation and coordination as a matter of socialist bloc principle, while the Kampucheans rejected both the bloc and the principle. This was made worse by the belief of the Cambodian communists that it had been betrayed by the Vietnamese. o At the 1954 Geneva conference Vietnam agreed to end the conflict with the French while Cambodia was still fighting and again in 1973 when the Vietnamese signed a ceasefire agreement with the US Cambodia found itself fighting alone. o Thus when the Vietnamese proposed the idea of an Indochina bloc and a special relationship with Kampuchea, the Kampucheans were highly suspicious

Thailand-Cambodia A) Thailand had an entrenched antagonism against communism as it was against the monarchy and religion in Thailand, hence the shared borders with an increasingly communist Cambodia resulted in fears and tensions. Thais later association with the US and the prominence of extreme hard line anticommunism military men made them even more strongly anti-communism. Thai fears: o Communism would spread directly from Cambodia to Thailand, or Vietnamese troops in Cambodia would infiltrate Thailand (as the indigenous communist movement began to develop in Cambodia). o Internal Thai communist groups (CPT) would link up with other communists. o China would use a neighbouring country to spread Communism into Thailand. Burma also had China as its northern neighbor and Burma chose to build relations with it, so Thailands fear increased. B) Thai involvement in the Cold War ideological conflict via its alignment with US and SEATO created tensions with the neutral Cambodia (under Sihanouk) Phibun and Sarit used the Cold War to their advantage, allowing it to shape their policies, both foreign and diplomatic. Strong anticommunism at home was paralleled by explicit alignment with US and membership into SEATO abroad. On its part, Thailand did not like Cambodias policy of neutrality. o Thailand urged SEATO not to accept a policy of neutrality and urged Cambodia to accept its duty. Harassment of Cambodia was carried out by America with Thai complicity. Sihanouk regarded Thailand as an American puppet was contemptuous of Thailands alliance. Malaysia-Indonesia A) Sukarnos strong anti-colonialism created friction with Malaysia as Indonesia saw her as a neo-colonial state, eventually leading to Konfrontasi. This perception was personified in Malaysias Tengku who seemed in manners and
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation education more British than Asian. Further compounded by British use of Malaysia as a base from which to challenge, fight and subvert the Indonesian Revolution politically, economically and militarily. Hence the ideological issue became bound up with a security issue the survival of the Indonesian Republic. Eventually, Sukarno came to see the Federation scheme as further evidence of neo-colonialism and British-inspired, and seemed to be genuinely concerned about the true wishes of the Borneo territories. o Both the army and Sukarno believed that the Bornean people wanted an independent state and that not all the Borneo territories were enthusiastic about the Malaysian proposal. o Confirmed in 1962 when the leader of the Brunei Peoples Party launched a short-lived rebellion against the Federation. Nasution sympathised with his aims. Konfrontasi was thus launched, articulated primarily in the language of defence of the Revolution. In the context of NEFO vs. OLDEFO world view, Sukarno was strong reasons to be concerned about Indonesias security and Konfrontasi was a response to this. o He wanted to prevent Indonesia from being encircled by her neo-colonial enemies and saw the Federation as an extension of Western imperialism and influence o 1963: Sukarno declared Konfrontasi against Malaysia and said, We are being encircled We do not want neo-colonialism in our vicinity.

4A. Territorial Disputes Cambodia-Vietnam A) Kampuchea Krom Sihanouk had given up the irredentist claims over KK, but Pol Pot reasserted this o This irredentist desire was spontaneous and widespread amongst Pol Pots troops. o There was also a misguided and confidence that they would march in to Vietnam and take it back. o The defeat of Lon Nol and the perceived notion of defeating America despite their bombing campaign led to this sudden surge in confidence. Is this pure irredentism, or is there an ethnic/ racial element? There was definitely a racial element involved as well. Malaysia-Indonesia A) Sipadan and Ligitan Islands maritime dispute // Between Malaysia and Singapore Pedra Branca dispute, but this dispute was much more likely than Pedra Branca to lead to conflict. Considerable evidence of potential conflict o During the Confrontation in the 1960s Indonesian and Malaysian forces clashed in the area. o 1993: Indonesia made a number of military landings to demonstrate its military presence and to intimidate the Malaysians, in an old-fashioned show of gunboat diplomacy and a public warning by the Minister of Security and Defence of Indonesias ownership of Sipadan. o 1994: Indonesia held its largest-ever military exercise off the Riao Islands. o 1995: Malaysias retiring commander of the Army Field Command saw fit to publicly warn of greater military challenges, specifically citing the dispute over the 2 islands as one which could create a crisis if not handled properly. Note: There is an economic + military link as well (link to LOST).
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation o Geographical baselines are important devices for defining exclusive economic zones (EEZ).

Malaysia-Philippines A) Sabah-Sarawak territorial dispute In 1967/8 Marcos military henchmen hatched a plot which involved the dispatch of a commando unit to infiltrate and foment unrest in Sabah. o The plotters hoped that the unrest would lead to either the Philippine government intervening in the island or the residents themselves deciding to secede from Malaysia. This led to Operation Merdeka and the Corregidor incident. The commando unit, the Jabidah, recruited Muslims from Sulu and Tawi-Tawai. However, in 1967 when the recruits arrived at Corregidor and discovered that their true mission involved fighting Muslims and relatives in Sabah, they demanded to return home. The Jabidah planners mowed them down with gunfire. When news of the Jabidah massacre broke out, public indignation rocked the country: politicians screamed for an investigation, Muslim students took to the streets demanding redress and many accused the Marcos government of tolerating, if not abetting, a policy of extermination. Even after this affair was resolved, the issue of Sabah continued to fester. o 1972: Malaysia passed the Baseline Effect openly defined Sabah as part of the Philippines. Basically an ongoing source of tension, though reached its height in 1967-9. The significance of this incident was very great as it had broader implications for the 2 countries, and it paralysed ASEAN for quite a long time. Singapore-Malaysia A) Pedra Branca Dispute Pedra Branca has been an important navigation landmark since the 1800s, under sovereign rule by Singapore since 1840s without any protest from Malaysia. Conflicting claims arose in 1979 when Malaysia published a map which placed the island within its territorial waters. Series of clashes leading up to the conflict: o 1989 and 1991: Malay politicians from Johor claimed that Malaysian fishermen were being kept away from the island because Singapore was carrying out constructions on the island. o 1992: Fishing vessels had reportedly been harassed around Pedra Branca by Singapore patrol craft. A Johor Fisheries Department patrol boat had also been driven away. The Singapore government was angered by the illegal intrusion in the latter incident, and in retaliation Malaysias Law Minister publicly asserted that Pedra Branca belonged to Malaysia. The press in both countries stressed how serious the conflict was, and there were references to the possibility of an actual conflict. In 1992 The Straits Times warned that the issue is not an insignificant one and could threaten bilateral relations while the Mingguan Malaysia newspaper warned that the claims over the island could lead both countries into the battlefield. 4B. Border Disputes Cambodia-Vietnam A) Unjust French imposition of demarcated border in favour of Vietnamese angered the Cambodians Pre-colonial days: Attached little importance to the demarcation of boundaries there were no territorial confusions and ambiguities.
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Colonial period: French imposed a demarcated border which reduced Cambodian territories, thereby seen as unjust by the Cambodians. Sihanouks attitude towards the border was one of a determination to maintain Cambodias claim to territories lost. o As a result of the Vietnam War close to 60,000 Viet Cong and north Vietnamese After a while, he abandoned these irredentist claims in favour of a nonnegotiable stance on the border. o He would not accept any proposal from Vietnam to change the border, because he assumed any proposal would be to increase Vietnamese territory. o However, only Cambodia was allowed to make changes Note: Under Sihanouk, it was less of a territorial dispute and more of a dispute over the precise delineation and demarcation of a land border, the location of which both sides recognized in principle. o In fact, the total area of problematic zones appeared to be less than 100 square kilometers.

B) Genuine territory dispute in terms of maritime borders Vietnam and Cambodia did not even agree whether a maritime border existed, much less on its location, over territorial waters. Both agreed on the existence and location of a Brevie line drawn by the French, which determined sovereignty over an important island, Vietnams Phu Quoc, but they disagreed over whether this same line determined the division of territorial waters. C) Unresolved frontier problems under Pol Pot led to frequent and violent border conflicts When Pol Pot came to power, the Vietnamese thought they could raise the issue of borders again because (1) Vietnam War was over and (2) Pol Pot was Communist Vietnam and Cambodian as brothers, at least ideologically. A conference was held in 1976, Vietnam making clear their desire to discuss frontiers. However, Cambodia rejected this and the talks broke down acrimoniously due to the continued presence of North Vietnamese troops in Cambodia. 1977: Kampucheans dispatched patrols into the disputed zones, and soon initiated military activities as part of a negotiation strategy to show both sides had the option of military force, so Vietnam stood to gain if they would negotiate on modified terms. However, Vietnams response was a military policy that saw a massive buildup along the Vietnam-Kampuchean border, increasing Vietnam reinforcements from 60,000 to 100,000. Thailand-Burma A) Maritime borders not respected leading to classes Thai trawlers traditionally fished in Burmese waters with freedom of navigation under international maritime laws except for a 12-nautical mile exclusion zone from territorial baselines. The change in maritime law to a 200-nautical mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) meant that Thai trawlers often had to intrude to Burmese territorial waters to reach their fishing ground. Tensions arose in 1990s due to Burmese anger over Thai trawlers who fished in illegal waters by duplicating permits. o There was continued violence, such as the sinking of 10 Thai trawlers by
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Burmese patrol crafts leading to a presumed 200 Thai deaths in 1992, and the killing of 15 Thai trawler crewmen in 1994 by Burmese patrol. Fishing spats escalated into full-blown diplomatic conflict in 1999 when Burma announced a review of all fishing agreements with Thailand and closed border checkpoints in Mae Sai and Ranong.

B) Cross-border intrusions by Burmese military in pursuit of ethnic minorities 1989: Burmese army crossed the Moei River border to attack Karen defenses and in doing so destroyed a Thai village. This was the first of many intrusions that raised tensions. 1995: Burmese army and the DKBO entered Thai territory and attacked Karen refugee camps. The presence of Burmese troops and artillery along the Thai-Burmese border is a major concern for Thailand. Burmese troops moved into border strongholds of minority groups after signing ceasefire agreements with them. One volatile spot is Doi Lang, near Chiang Mai where armed soldiers stand within a stones throw of each other. Malaysia-Thailand A) Maritime borders not respected leading to clashes Direct parallel to Thai-Burma maritime border tensions. Growing concern over incidents involving Thai trawlers and Malaysian naval patrols escalating into conflict, particularly at a time when both countries were rapidly expanding their naval capabilities. Serious incident occurred in 1995: Malaysian navy shot at a Thai trawler, killing two fishermen. There was also an economic aspect to this maritime conflict o In the aftermath of the incident, Malaysia declared that she had the right to protect its EEZ from intrusion. Thailand protested and threatened to lead a fleet of Thai trawlers through Malaysias EEZ to underline what it regarded as the right of innocent passage. While the Malaysia-Thailand maritime border dispute seem similar to the BurmaThailand situation, the latter has been relatively more intransigent due to historical animosity between Thailand and Burma, leading to a pervasive overhang which clouded subsequent relations. Hence, in contrast to the impasse with Burma, swift bilateral negotiations between Thailand and Malaysia defused the maritime crisis. 5. Security Concerns/ Interference in another states affairs Thailand-Burma A) Burmas belief that Thailand was offering safe refuge for Burmese ethnic minority groups Thailand tried it best to convince Burma that it had severed links with the ethnic minorities, but the Burmese were not persuaded o Burmese officials remained skeptical and alleged that Thailand continued to provide shelter and sanctuary to fleeing leaders of various minority groups, offering logistics and selling illegal arms to minority groups. o Burma was particularly concerned with Thailands provision of safe shelter to Gen. Bo Mia, who is considered Burmese juntas Enemy No. 1. This resulted in a series of cross-border intrusions by the Burmese military into Thailand in pursuit of these ethnic rebels. Malaysia-Indonesia A) Alleged Malaysian Support For Acehnese Rebels
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Indonesian was suspicions of Malaysian government involvement in helping GAM separatist rebels in Aceh. During the 1990s, Malaysia was used as a GAM base and the ability of the organisation to do this probably ensured its survival after Indonesias counterinsurgency operations in 1990-91. o The fact that the refugees were sheltered in Malaysia was interpreted by the Indonesians as a form of support/ sympathy. Most of the funding for GAM came from Malaysia, from a purely geographical perspective not from the Malaysian government, but from the Acehnese expatriates living in Malaysia o In KL alone there was an estimated 5000 Acehnese who provided GAM with regular donations. Malaysia was also an important conduit for arms to come from places such as Cambodia. o Shipments to Indonesia from Cambodia are often moved through the Malaysian provinces of Kelantan, Sarawak and Sabah, and GAM tapped into this network. o In December 1999 the Indonesia Home Affairs Minister publicly stated that Aceh rebels were smuggling in weapons from Malaysia leading to a spike in tensions. These, to Indonesia, seemed indicative of at least passive complicity in the troubles in Aceh, leading to strained relations over this issue. However, even though much more than Suharto, Mahathir tried to play the Muslim card in foreign policy, it was not the official policy or in the interest of the Malaysian government to give aid to the rebels. o They did not want a huge influx of refugees from Aceh (when they were at the same time receiving many Vietnamese refugees, boat people) o If Aceh was successful in breaking away, it serves a dangerous precedent for other regions with separatist tendencies would represent extreme instability in the region. ASEAN countries feared that secession would be made by other regions of Indonesia, and the end result would be the break-up, Yugoslaviastyle, of Indonesia, with the likely emergence of several small, unstable states. The emergence of an independent Aceh would also resonate further afield, galvanizing rebels in places such as southern Thailand and the southern Philippines to intensify efforts to realize their aspirations for separate, Islamic states.

Malaysia-Thailand A) Alleged Malaysian support for separatist Thai Muslims out of religious sympathies With Muslims accounting for 80% of the population of 4 provinces in South Thailand, and secessionist guerilla movements among the Thai Malay Muslims having close personal bonds with relatives in Malaysia, it was inevitable that Malaysia would be drawn into supporting their cause. In response, the Thais launched a major suppression campaign against the southern Muslim separatists in 1981. The main separatist organisation in Thailand was PULO, and Thailand repeatedly accused Malaysia of being one of its main sponsors. This was partly true, as PULO was operating out of bases in states of Malaysia like Kelantan. Opposition state government PAS in Kelantan actually admitted links with the Muslim separatists due to religious sympathies, which undermined the central Malaysian governments denial of involvement.
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Malaysia-Philippines A) Malaysian support for Moro Rebellion out of religious sympathies Malaysia was implicated in the MNLF rebellions in South Philippines that became a full-scale civil war after President Marcos declared martial law in September 1971, acting as a supply base (// Malaysia aiding Thai separatist rebels in South Thailand) Malaysia (Sabah) served as the initial training ground for this separatist organisation (MNLF). o From 1969 to the mid 1970s, cadres were sent abroad for military training: the first cohort Top 90 spent over a year training near Penang. The actions of the chief minister of Sabah, Tun Mustapha (state leader, not central government), also implicated Malaysia. o He was actually of Philippine origins, so he had natural sympathies for it, and he also had close personal relations with some leaders of the rebel movements, some of which were based primarily on religious sympathies. o He facilitated the smuggling of weapons through Sabah and was closely linked to the leaders of the Muslim Independence Movement (MIM) that had its goal as the secession of Muslims from Philippines and creation of an Islamic state. 6. Economic Links/ Policies Thailand-Burma As an offering of friendship, Burma offered economic and trading concessions to Thailand that she had previously not offered before. Military generals struck these economic deals and enriched themselves (selfinterests) However, such economic links were not a stable improvement in the relationship and long-term resolution? When the Thai businessmen struck deals with Burma, they went well beyond the concessions granted and conducted illegal economic activity o Exploitation of forests of Burma when harvesting of Thai teak was halted. o Illegal fishing within Burmese waters. When the Burmese government became aware of this it abrogated the contracts with the 40 Thai companies and would only allow 3 to continue under strict conditions While economic links can improve tensions, it also has the capacity to worsen ties, when an external country is engaging in economic activity within your country to the detriment of your own economy o Furthermore, border trade enriched the ethnic minorities and entrenched their hold on the border regions. Thailand did their best to calm the fears of the Burmese, but was not effective. Thailand-Cambodia 1992: UN peacekeeping produced a new Cambodian government, while economic links between the Thai (military) and the Khmer Rouge continued to exist. This was a serious cause of tension between Thailand and the new Cambodian government, since the Khmer Rouge was seen as a potentially destabilizing force. o Thais were accused of remaining as the lifeline for the Khmer Rouge, providing transportation, medical care and other support for the rebels, sometimes during battle. However, we cannot blame the Thai government for this, as it was individual military generals making the economic deals. o Can we regard the military as an independent factor in worsening tensions? Look at Thailand-Burma and Thailand-Cambodia.
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Economic deals when struck between governments can be an effective way in easing tensions, but deals struck with opposition movements only worsen diplomatic relations as it destabilizes the ruling power

Singapore-Indonesia Post-Suharto Indonesia Asian Financial Crisis Reasons for the worsening of relations due to AFC: Indonesians believed that Singapore was responsible for the crisis due to currency speculation which operated in Singapore. o Thus Singapore was seen as the engineer of the crisis and the source of the rupiahs fall. o What is significant is the perception rather than reality behind the perception. Nastiness in Singapores response o There was an expectation that Singapore would help out and provide substantial help o Singapore did provide some humanitarian assistance, but Indonesians felt it was demeaning and smacked of charity. o What Indonesia wanted was capital investment from Singapore from statelinked companies. When SGP did not do this, it made Indonesia regard Singapore as being selfish. Singapore was a much wealthier country, even before the AFC, and the Indonesians were aware of that. The AFC made the disparity become more obvious. o Side-point: Role of ASEAN It was during these bad times that SGP paid the price for its previous policy with Indonesia by involving herself with Indonesias network of patronage. o The AFC stimulated a lot of anti-Chinese feeling in Indonesia and produced riots in 1998 explains the massive exodus of wealthy Chinese from Indonesia. o This upsurge of anti-Chinese feeling made Indonesians reflect on previous relations with Singapore. o As many of Suhartos cronies were Chinese businessmen, there was the increasing perception that these economic links had been to the disadvantage of non-Chinese and Muslims. There was also increased focus on the racial and religious interpretation of those relations, Muslim Indonesians were particularly unhappy, seeing in these a Chinese-Christian nexus that worked to their disadvantage. Furthermore, it plunged Indonesia into instability by 1998. o This was what Singapore wanted to prevent all along, and explained why Singapore propped up Suhartos regime. o When Indonesia was unstable, she started to look for scapegoats, and found them in the fleeing Chinese businessmen who went to Singapore. o Singapore thus had no more incentive to continue amicable relations with Indonesia. 7. External Power Thailand-Cambodia A) US involvement in forging links between Thailand and Khmer Rouge creating tensions between Thailand and new Cambodian government Thai military commanders said their close ties to the Khmer Rouge had tacit approval of the US that sought that ousters of the Cambodian government installed by Vietnam. 1980s: US used the Thai army to funnel military support to two non-communist
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation rebel groups allied with the Khmer Rouge. Washington also helped support some 350,000 Cambodian refugees, including Khmer Rouge soldiers and their families, who crowded into Thai refugee camps.

8. Military Tensions Singapore-Malaysia A) Singapores siege mentality manifested in a military build-up For Singapore, independence was unwanted and doubts about the ability of Singapore to survive led to a siege mentality and high levels of defense spending. Its sense of vulnerability in a Malay sea contributed to Singapores military buildup, based on the Israeli model of deterrent strategy of a small nation surviving amidst hostile surrounding neighbours. This provoked much ire from the Malaysians who were offended that Singapore would feel such necessity in guarding herself from her neighbours and its own military buildup led to competitive arms acquisition which in itself increases tension. The Pedra Branca issue became intertwined with military tensions. o In 1991, there was also an issue over a military exercise held jointly between Malaysia and Indonesia. o It was very insensitive and provocative exercise, even in terms of its name (Operation Total Wipeout) and its timing (Singapores National Day). o It was taken as a provocation by Singapore which responded by launching Operation Trojan, under which armed forces went on full alert. Thailand-Cambodia A) Thai military generals maintained economic links with Khmer Rouge that created tensions with the new Cambodian government Indonesia-Malaysia A) Indonesian Army put pressure for the Konfrontasi policy and often took the lead in provocative actions The first military infiltration into Sarawak seems to have been an initiative of the army without Sukarnos approval so called refugees and volunteers were trained by the Indonesian army and then infiltrated as guerrillas into the Bornean jungle. The army had interests in the policy as there were US-friendly elements in it who saw the real danger of Malaysia as Communism and feared Chinese influence in the region; through Konfrontasi they were also able to justify retaining the large budget and status now that the West Irian conflict had ended. In 1964 a local Reuters correspondent told American ambassador Howard Jones that he had information saying that the real driving forces behind Konfrontasi were the armed forces and the PKI. 9. Individuals Singapore-Indonesia A) Personal antagonisms between LKY and Habibie When Habibie replaced Suharto (Post-Suharto Indonesia), relations deteriorated between Singapore and Indonesia due to personal antagonisms. o SGP did not show the same support to Habibie as they did to Suharto, and Habibie saw this as a hesitance in welcoming his assumption of power. o SGP had specific reservations of Habibie, and saw him as a misfit who exploited his close relationship with Suharto to advance grandiose economic projects, many of which was damaging to the Indonesian economy. In fact, such reservations pre-dated his appointment as President when Habibie was
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation o o Vice-President. Compare to the good relationship between Suharto and LKY. Furthermore, Singapore did not regard Habibie as a long-term leader with the provisional nature of Habibies presidency. Singapores view was that there was no point becoming close since he was not going to be President for long.

B) Habibie worsened the situation with unwise remarks Reflected the bumbling politician he was; Habibies comments seemed to be a result of a lack of forethought (// Sihanouk in his relations with Thailand). Most famous remark about Singapore: a little red dot o Singapore, already conscious of its vulnerability and small size, reacted badly to this. Second unwise comment in defending his own policy against the Chinese was to accuse the Singapore government of racism. o He used the fact that Malays would never be given military officer positions o Singapore was particularly sensitive to this because it based its whole nation building exercise on Singapores multiracialism and racial harmony. o Habibie took this provocative stance also because of the Chinese businessmen who fled from Indonesia. They had taken huge amounts of money which they deposited in Singapore banks. o Indonesia demanded demanded the extradition of the Indonesians who fled to Singapore but Singapore was not proactive in the process, as such Chinesegoverned Singapore was perceived to be protecting their fellow Chinese individuals (racial issue). o However, it was more likely that Singapore simply wished to keep the money within its own banks. o Note: Confluence of race and religion. Habibie was very much under the influence of the ICMI (Association of the Muslim Intellectuals) and approached the governance of Indonesia, to some extent, from a religious angle. From these comments, he could be accused of not only being inflammatory but also actually interfering in the internal affairs of another country. The racial issue did not go away, partly due to the fact that Habibie was not the only one making inflammatory remarks LKY added fuel to the flames as well o LKY: Believed that the attitude of Malaysia and Indonesia towards the Republic was shaped by the way they treated their own ethnic Chinese minorities. Commented that they wanted the SGP Chinese to be like their Chinese compliant (Indonesian and Malaysian Chinese since the 1965 massacre changed their names to Indonesian names, and the Chinese cronies were willing to lend the government money anytime. Singapore was the international equivalent of their local wealthy Chinese.)

C) Gus Dur (1999-2001) Initially wanted a fresh start with SGP and made friendly overtures, but tensions soon resurfaced due to the same reasons as Habibie o Felt that SGP support for his regime was not forthcoming. o Accused SGP of pursuing a foreign policy that only sought profit and for exploiting Indonesia. Took LKYs comments that showed a lack of confidence in the Indonesian ruling elite as a personal affront.


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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation 2. CONSEQUENCES Consider the impact of interstate tensions on regional cooperation and security: Argument 1: Interstate tensions crippled progress towards regional cooperation and resulted in regional instability. Argument 2: Interstate tensions were the motivating force for regional cooperation and security. 1. Crippled Regional Cooperation A) Interstate tensions sometimes limited the effectiveness of extant regional associations, either in leading to the short-lived nature of early SEA associations or constraining the full exercise of its functions. Failure of ASA 1963: ASA was terminated when Malaysia-Philippine diplomatic relations broke down over the twin issues of Malaysia and Sabah. It was later revived in 1966, and bilateral relations between Philippines and Malaysia officially resumed that year with Philippines recognition of the latter. Hence the strength of the regional association was intimately bound to the development of interstate tensions between countries in the association. The ASA had failed to consolidate norms sufficiently to manage interstate tensions and disputes. Instead, it was led by interstate tensions. Failure of Maphilindo 1963: Maphilindo was initiated by the Philippines as a tripartite agreement among Malaya, the Philippines and Indonesia. It envisioned a Greater Malayan Confederation and a fraternal platform for the three countries to resolve their Malaysia and Sabah disputes and any other future issues in the spirit of consensus, by appealing to the one thing they had in common their race. However, interstate tensions and the mutual incompatibility of the aims of the member countries led to the eventual breakdown of the Maphilindo concept. o Malaysia believed that Maphilindo would make it easier to gain approval from the other two nations on the contentious issue of the Malaysian Federation. o Philippines was solely concerned with claiming Sabah. o Indonesia saw Maphilindo as the perfect means to assert its influence over the other two states by appealing to the organisations spirit. In light of these varying reasons for joining the alliance and underlying tensions, it was no surprise that Maphilindo eventually broke down. Rather than facilitating cooperation between the 3 nations, Maphilindo instead exposed their conflicting interests and made it clear they could not be simply bonded over race. 2. Regional Instability A) Created regional instability especially in security-related tensions in terms of level of influence and intensity Formation of Malaysia, leading to Sabah claims and Konfrontasi Formation of Malaysia was perceived by Philippines and Indonesia as direct threats to the power balance in the region, especially to Indonesias hegemonic ambitions. The Sabah claim therefore resulted directly in the breakdown of ASA and Maphilindo, military action in the Correigidor affair and a hiatus in Malaysia-Philippines bilateral relations from 1963-66. Konfrontasi also resulted in a breakdown in MalaysiaIndonesia relations, as well as internal violence from military action. Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchea
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation Communist Vietnam was perceived to be a threat both territorially and ideologically, potentially shifting the balance of Cold War alignments in the region. To that extent, the Vietnamese invasion of Kampuchean sovereignty escalated the conflict into an international Cold War issue. The consequence was a decade of tense diplomatic strain.

3. Motivating Force For Regional Cooperation A) Resulted in the formation of regional associations in the search to resolve tensions Association of SEA (ASA) (1961-66) Was a response to insecurities faced by Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. Created primarily out of ideological fears the threat of communism and used economic means to resolve ideological tensions (as it was the less confrontational approach). Also, economic cooperation would be a way of improving economic prosperity within each of the countries in the ASA the more prosperous these countries become, the less fertile the soil for communism to thrive. ASEAN* (1967) (best example) ASEAN grew out of the same issues that had frozen other embryonic organisations, being seen as the platform for reconciliation and the prevention of future conflicts. ASA in 1961 suffered an early death over the Sabah issue. Maphilindo, an attempt to paper differences between Malaya, the Philippines and Indonesia arising from the formation of Malaysia, was stillborn due to Konfrontasi. These two issues were the direct stimulus for ASEAN. Formal talks grew out of the discussions to end Konfrontasi in 1965-66. The two predecessors to ASEAN provided a warning against the potential of an unchecked conflict: the outbreak and impact of Konfrontasi itself. This had the consequence of strengthening the resolve and commitment to tackle all future conflicts. o Revival of the Sabah issue in the 1969 Corregidor affair: Year-long hiatus in ASEAN meetings. Relations resumed after that with Philippines recognition of Malaysia. o Hanging of two Indonesian marines for Konfrontasi activities by Singapore: Tensions defused by Suhartos determination not to allow this issue to disrupt relations with Singapore and ASEAN. o Cambodian Crisis (Vietnamese invasion and occupation + establishment of puppet government against the backdrop of the Cold War): This more than any other episode gelled ASEAN together solidified the organisation and justified its existence. Tensions between communist Vietnam and noncommunist SEA states ultimately led to the establishment of principles of security cooperation in the ZOPFAN Declaration (1971), which provided a constructive platform with which ASEAN managed the Cambodian Crisis. On the other hand, it can be said that ASEAN was a one-issue organisation. After Cambodia, there was not much that ASEAN did. ASEAN came up with the initiatives, but handed the conflict over to UN to resolve it combined approach/ middle-way.


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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation 3. CONFLICT RESOLUTION 1. Individual Political Leaders Thailand-Burma U Nu made consistent diplomatic efforts to improve relations from 1955 onwards: o In 1955 both countries cooperated in the Bandung Conference. o Burma waived all war claims on Thailand. o Visited Thailand in 1955 and was taken to Ayudhya and shown the ruined temples and villages showed rare willingness to address the past and acknowledge past Burmese atrocities. o Invited Phi Bun to Burma for religious celebrations which Phibun accepted. This way a way of bringing the 2 countries together via a common religion. These efforts resulted in a Treaty of Friendship being signed in 1956 followed by subsequent visit of Thai King and Queen to Burma in 1960. Under the premiership of Thai General Prem ties improved markedly. The Prem government stated that Thailand sought to befriend all countries and this assurance encouraged dialogue with Burma. o Thailands foreign minister visited Burma in 1986 followed by the Thai Army Chief Chavalit in 1987. o Joint Border Committee, a forum to discuss border problems, was revived. Note: However, this ended with the 1980s crackdown on democracy. General Chatichais approach was initially one of hostility towards Burma due to the events of the 1988 democracy crackdown. However, he later changed the direction of Thai attitude towards Burma and went against sanctions applied to Burma by the international community over its human rights issues. o Significance: Thailand was very explicitly not interfering with Burmas human rights problem. This reduced tensions as it marked a pulling back of Thai intervention in Burmese internal affairs, interpreted as a commitment not to violate Burmese sovereignty. May call this an ambivalent policy towards Burma, but Burma appreciated such an attitude. Chatichais renewal of friendship with Burma also took economic form. Burma offered economic and trading concessions that she had previously not offered before.

Singapore-Indonesia Frequent meetings between LKY and Suharto, called empat-mata (4-eyes, meaning private meetings so that frank and cordial discussions could be carried out). o Between 1965 and 1990, the two met 15 times once every 1.5 years. Most important was the similar approaches they had to governing. Once they realized this, the building up of mutual trust was possible o Both were firm pragmatists who were determined to better the lives of their people through progress even if it meant making tough decisions (authoritarian). Indonesias relations with Singapore improved also because Suharto believed it would serve the interests of his country and regime. o Thought SGP could provide support for his regime if it was challenged from within or outside (outside referring to the criticism that was leveled against Indonesia on issues like human rights, authoritarianism and corruption).
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation SGP provided a form of external validation for the New Order regimes domestic policies. LKY was prepared to defend what happened in Indonesia along pragmatic lines, and was consistent in doing so o His support was well-received in the Indonesia parliament. o Improvement of relations also due to close military ties between Singapore and Indonesia despite international condemnation of the Indonesian military (who were committing the violations against human rights) o SGP-Indonesia military relationship was the closest amongst all its SEA neighbours. o SGP support directly benefited the Indonesian armed forces both materially and professionally. Note: The periods in which the improvement of relations took place were always when Indonesia underwent domestic stress. Reason: Indonesia tried to buttress support for domestic political position through external validation from SGP increasingly initiated bilateral relations with SGP. 1968: Hanging of 2 Indonesian marines which provoked huge spontaneous nationalist reaction of an anti-Singaporean kind. These were demonstrations that Suharto did not want and tried to play down. o The Indonesian leaders instead highlighted that a second Konfrontasi would hurt the Indonesian people more than it would Singapore, and that Indonesias ability to attract foreign investments would suffer as well. o Spontaneous nationalism has the potential to worsen relations between countries. o // Thailand and Prear Vihear spontaneous nationalism that the government did not want. In both cases, the government tried to calm public furore. 1974: Malari Riots acceleration of improvements in relations with Singapore. o Suharto received external validation from SGP during his first state visit in the aftermath of the Malari Riots in 1974. 1996: Improved relations with Singapore after July 1996 riots with the signing of 2 commercial agreements. SGP cooperated and went along with this relationship because it was symbiotic which much to gain as well in terms of economic and security benefits. o Economic: 10-13% of SGP trade was with Indonesia. o Security: Singapore would be most vulnerable from a threat from Indonesia if it was domestically unstable and thus most likely to turn belligerent. It was not just Suharto wanting to keep his regime stable; Singapore also wanted to prop him up as they did not want another Sukarno government if the New Order crumbled. o LKY soon came to have confidence in Suhartos ability to maintain this stability and prosperity, but more importantly, Suhartos lack of interest to engage in adventurism in his foreign policy

Singapore-Malaysia Pedra Branca dispute o Malaysian leadership took immediate steps to diffuse the situation and there was determination on their part not to go to war over that little rock. o This determination led to the Governments willingness to settle the issue legally and diplomatically. o By 1994, Malaysia had already made some steps towards a resolution by agreeing in principle to go to ICJ. LKYs memoirs
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Southeast Asian History: Regional Conflicts And Cooperation o The issue was resolved by a meeting between Mahathir and LKY in 1999 and LKYs official visit to KL in 2000 where he made a number of conciliatory statements to which Malaysia responded positively.

2. Economic Links Singapore-Indonesia Economic links between SGP and Indonesia post-Konfrontasi were reestablished much to Indonesias advantage, augmenting the Suharto governments performance legitimacy improving relations between LKY and Suharto. o Took the form of investments in Indonesia from Singapore. Much these investments were from wealthy Chinese (who had fled Indonesia during the communist massacre to Singapore and were thus re-investing in Indonesia). By 1990s, SGP had become Indonesias 5th largest foreign investor. o SGP became Indonesias 4th largest export destination. Also played a role in the upgrading and marketing of Indonesias traditional exports (SGP as re-exporter). o SGP was the 5th largest source of imports to Indonesia. Overall Result: Faster turnaround of exports, ease in foreign exchange problems and more funds for entrepreneurs in Indonesia to invest in new business ventures. Note: Chinese businessmen established deals with Suhartos cronies can see why LKY was not so hard against Indonesian patronage as SGP was herself economically intimate with Indonesian patronage. o E.g. project to turn Batam Island into an industrial park saw the collaboration of familiar cronies of Suhartos, in particular Habibie, with Singapore. Of course, the cronies themselves benefited the most from these relations, and thus they had an incentive to further these deals. // Thai military general who benefited economically from Burma Having better relations with Singapore strengthened the regime and the people part of the regime. 3. External Parties Singapore-Malaysia Pedra Branca dispute o 1994: Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong and Mahathir reached agreement in principle that a 3rd party such as the ICJ should take care of the matter. o The actual resolution came in 2007 and was generally respected by both sides Malaysia-Indonesia Dispute over Sipadan and Lipidan o 1996: Recognising the danger of an armed conflict, the leaders of both countries met in Kuala Lumpur and announced that the dispute would be referred to ICJ. o 1997: An agreement was signed to refer the dispute to The Hague. o 2002: the ICJ awarded the two islands to Malaysia and Indonesia respected this, amending its baselines, removing Sipadan and Ligatan islands as basepoints.


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