East Asia Summit (EAS): History, Members & Significance for India | UPSC Notes

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East Asia Summit (EAS): History, Members & Significance for India | UPSC Notes

The East Asia Summit (EAS) is a unique meeting of the leaders of 18 countries in the Asia-Pacific region. Its goal is to promote peace, security, and wealth in the region.

It has become a place where political, security, and economic problems that affect the whole region can be talked about and worked on together. It is an important part of the regional architecture.

EAS was set up in 2005 and gives the most important people in the Asia-Pacific region a chance to talk about problems that affect them all in an open and honest way.

At first, leaders from 16 countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia, Oceania, and South Asia met at the EAS meeting. At the Sixth EAS in 2011, Russia and the United States of America (USA) joined, making it a group of 18 countries.

EAS is a project of ASEAN and is based on the idea that ASEAN is the most important group.

In the framework of the EAS, there are six key areas of regional interaction. These are: environment and energy; education; finances; global health issues and pandemic diseases; management of natural disasters; and connecting ASEAN.

In recent years, maritime cooperation has become a very important area of cooperation. On November 9 and 10, 2015, India held the EAS Conference on Maritime Security and Cooperation in New Delhi. The conference called for a more cooperative and integrated future for the region by developing the ocean-based “blue economy” as a whole.

History of the East Asia Summit

1.Mahathir Mohamad, who was Prime Minister of Malaysia at the time, came up with the idea for the East Asia Summit.

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During the ASEAN Plus Three Summit in 2004, all of the leaders agreed that the East Asian Summit (EAS) should happen.

Since it started, ASEAN has been in charge of the forum and played the most important part. After the annual meetings of ASEAN leaders, EAS meetings are held. The EAS plays an important part in the structure of the Asia-Pacific region.

The first meeting was on December 14, 2005, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Members:

The EAS has 18 members: the ten ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam), plus Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea, Russia, and the United States.

India: India was one of the first countries to join the East Asia Summit.

Why the East Asia Summit is Important

• It was made with the goal of making it easier for East Asian countries and those in nearby areas to work together.The EAS is meant to give a political boost and show dedication to a process that is already going on, which is that East Asian countries are doing business with each other faster and more closely than ever before. Intra-East Asian trade is now over 55%, up from about 40% a decade ago, and more regional direct investments are going inward. This is happening even though there isn’t a central organisation for the whole area; it’s all driven by market conditions. Theoretically, strong political support through an institutionalised framework will help this process and might even lead to regional integration. This kind of merging is thought to solve two problems. One, countries will be less likely to be militarily aggressive if they are more dependent on each other. Two, many of the security problems that already exist are unlikely to turn into wars because there are important things at stake for everyone.

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How important East Asia is

• Important Countries: Greater China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, and South Korea are all in the eastern part of Asia. Greater China is made up of the Chinese mainland, Hong Kong, Macau, and Taiwan.

• Economic benefit: It is home to nearly half of the world’s people and accounts for 20% of global trade. It is made up of 16 countries whose economies are growing quickly.

• Regional Security: Because of tensions on the Korean Peninsula, in South China, and in the Taiwan Strait, among other places, it is important for Japan, China, and South Korea to take the same position and care about security in the East Asian area as a whole.

• Effects on the rest of the world: An East Asia community would do a lot to give Asian countries a feeling of responsibility and help them work together to solve problems around the world.