Inter state Tensions in Southeast Asia

Topics: Malaysia, Sabah, Southeast Asia, Pol Pot, Vietnam War, Philippines / Pages: 5 (1758 words) / Published: Jul 16th, 2015
Political differences, rather than ethnic-cultural divisions, led to interstate tensions in SEA since independence. To what extent do you agree with this assessment?
The assessment above is accurate to the extent that political differences had triggered direct tangible actions which led to actual tensions between SEA states. Compared to ethnic-cultural divisions which merely bred suspicions and mutual distrust, contributing indirectly to the development of i/s tensions, political differences were able to explain the immediate and long term causes of i/s tensions. In general, ethnic-cultural divisions were merely an underlying cause of some political disputes, providing the platform for political differences to emerge, resulting in actual tensions. Even so, the Indonesia-Malaysia experience of Konfrontasi proved that it is difficult to argue the primacy of either as in instances, such as in, Singapore-Malaysia/Vietnam-Kampuchea divisions, it was the politicization of matters along racial lines – impetus of each that led to tensions. Furthermore, in the case of Indonesia-Malaysia, it was ethnic-cultural commonalities, rather than divisions that led to rivalry and hence tensions.
Political differences, which can be explored by security & sovereignty perception and ideological differences, lead to the development of actual tensions without the intervention of ethnic-cultural schisms. When it comes to security, SEA states are usually intransigent as security directly concerns the sovereignty of the country – vis-à-vis territorial, political influence and power balance in the SEA region. As such, when a state’s actions jeopardize another’s security and sovereignty, the latter will be forced to react aggressively, leading to actual tangible tensions between states. For example, Malaysia’s decision of establish the GFOM was seen as a palpable threat to Sukarno’s ultranationalist vision of a “Greater Indonesia” peninsula and to Indonesia’s sense of supremacy. It was

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Southeast Asia
  • Authoritarianism In Southeast Asia
  • Islam in Southeast Asia
  • Terrorism in Southeast Asia
  • Nationalism in Southeast Asia
  • Demographics of Southeast Asia
  • Southeast Asia History
  • Settlement in Southeast Asia
  • Southeast Asia and Topic
  • Singapore, Southeast Asia and America