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East Asia Summit

  • 20 Jul 2023
  • 4 min read

For Prelims: East Asia Summit, ASEAN, Act East Policy

For Mains: Role of the EAS in addressing regional issues of common interest and concern

Source: TH

Why in News?

Recently, India's External Affairs Minister attended the 13th East Asia Summit Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and utilized the opportunity to engage in discussions with China's top diplomat, on the sidelines of the event.

  • They discussed outstanding issues along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), emphasizing the importance of peace and the disengagement of troops.

What is the East Asia Summit?

  • About:
    • The EAS was established in 2005 as an Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-led initiative.
    • The EAS is the only leader-led forum in the Indo-Pacific that brings together all key partners to discuss political, security and economic issues of strategic importance.
    • The EAS operates on the principles of openness, inclusiveness, respect for international law, ASEAN centrality, and ASEAN’s role as the driving force.
    • The idea of an East Asia Grouping was first proposed by then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in 1991.
      • The first summit was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 14 December 2005.
  • Members:
    • The EAS comprises 18 members: the 10 ASEAN countries (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and eight dialogue partners (Australia, China, India, Japan, New Zealand, Republic of Korea, Russia and the United States).
  • EAS Meetings and Processes:
    • The EAS is usually held alongside ASEAN Leaders' meetings in the fourth quarter of every year.
    • The EAS Leaders’ Summit is supported by various ministerial and senior officials’ meetings, such as the Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, the Economic Ministers’ Meeting, the Defence Ministers’ Meeting, and the Education Ministers’ Meeting.
    • The EAS has six priority areas of cooperation: environment and energy; education; finance; global health issues and pandemic diseases; natural disaster management; and ASEAN connectivity.
    • The EAS also covers other topics of common interest and concern, such as trade and investment, regional architecture, maritime security, non-proliferation, counterterrorism, and cyber security.
  • India and East Asia Summit:
    • India has been a founding member of the EAS since 2005 and has actively participated in all its meetings and activities.
    • India views the EAS as a key platform for enhancing its Act East Policy and strengthening its strategic partnership with ASEAN and other regional countries.
    • At the East Asia Summit in Bangkok in November 2019, India had unveiled India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans Initiative (IPOI), which is aimed at forging partnerships to create a secure and stable maritime domain.
    • India has contributed to the EAS cooperation in various fields, such as disaster management, renewable energy, education, health, connectivity, maritime security and counterterrorism.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)


Q. India is a member of which among the following? (2015)

  1. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
  2. Association of South-East Asian Nations
  3. East Asia Summit

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 3 only 
(c) 1, 2 and 3 
(d) India is a member of none of them

Ans: (b)

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