March 30, 2021, 01.54 PM
Founded in August 8, 1967, ASEAN member states embrace the principle of non-interference. shutterstock.comFounded in August 8, 1967, ASEAN member states embrace the principle of non-interference.

This situation could lead to the junta foregoing some friendships. As the generals had previously stated at the United Nations: "We are used to sanctions, and we survived … We have to learn to walk with only [a] few friends."

No success without unity

So, the questions are, first, whether it will be possible to create the necessary unity within ASEAN so that the Myanmar generals cannot avoid dialogue even with their critics within the alliance, and, second, whether the confrontational approach, by ASEAN standards, would be more successful than the quiet diplomacy of the past. Both questions are interrelated. 

With regard to the first question, an unnamed ASEAN diplomat told Japan's Asian Nikkei Review: ASEAN "is like a faulty Rubik's cube where it is impossible to get all the colors aligned on one side." ASEAN's disunity, in turn, diminishes the confrontational approach's chances of success.

Dapatkan update berita pilihan dan breaking news setiap hari dari Kompas.com. Mari bergabung di Grup Telegram "Kompas.com News Update", caranya klik link https://t.me/kompascomupdate, kemudian join. Anda harus install aplikasi Telegram terlebih dulu di ponsel.

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