SEOUL — Asia is gradually moving toward a security framework dramatically different from that in Europe, consisting of processes rather than institutions between and among nation-states — many of which have outstanding political, ideological or territorial conflicts. And in Asia, unlike the case in Europe, the principle of nonintervention in sovereign affairs has been traditionally taken as a mantra — particularly for China — whether under the guise of humanitarian intervention or conflict prevention. (In this regard, it remains unclear whether Indonesian intervention in East Timor constitutes a one-time exception or the harbinger of a new process.)

The process that began in Southeast Asia three decades ago as an economic association between six Southeast Asia states — Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and the Philippines — now has 10 members, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and a partially ostracized Myanmar.

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