The Asian Crisis and Regional Security

  • Raymund Jose Quilop


When the baht plunged to unprecedented depths, dragging with it the Southeast Asian miracle, it signalled not only the end of a decade of prosperity but also the beginning of an era of insecurity. The crisis has forced governments in the region to postpone crucial defense and infrastructure projects and limited their capacities to deliver basic social services. It has also led to political instability and strained diplomatic relationships in some countries, and caused tension in the region. Currency devaluation and bigger oil bills are pushing states to searchfor alternative fuel sources, including China, which has become more aggressive in asserting its claims to disputed territories believed to be rich sources of oil. The growing presence of the Chinese military in the region despite the region-wide recession will also be the object of security concerns for years to come. In order to find solutions to the financial crisis and its effects on regional security, Southeast Asian countries are urged to seek economic and political cooperation through the Asian Regional Forum (ARF) and the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) and perhaps survive the crisis without growing too insecure.