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Constructive role stressed for Myanmar

ASEAN balance between engagement and noninterference garners praise

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ balanced approach to the situation in Myanmar meets the principle of noninterference and is aimed at a peaceful resolution of the country’s issues, experts say.

Yang Razali Kassim, senior fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, said a statement from the 10-nation bloc is the latest manifestation of its policy of constructive engagement, which means a balance between noninterference and engagement.

“ASEAN’s approach in dealing with Myanmar, or any troubled fellow member-state, has always been different from that of Western countries because of their different political cultures,” Kassim told China Daily. “While the West would take a firm interventionist stance, ASEAN’s position has always been more calculated, guided by the doctrine of noninterference.”

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