“I do not believe in conflict of interests,” Sukma informed ANTARA after the CSIS lecture series on regional dynamics today.
“The ASEAN can help the two great powers to manage their rivalries and competitions, and that is what we intend to do,” he added.
Sukma noted that the United States and China might not be on the same page regarding the Indo-Pacific, but they also share some similar interests in the region.
"Rivalry is not inevitable. That is manageable," the ambassador stated.
More importantly, the fundamental concept of the Indo-Pacific outlook, led by the ASEAN, is to integrate all players into the regional cooperation, including major nations, such as the US and China, Sukma remarked.
“We know China is fast becoming a great power, if not already is, and the United States is striving to sustain its primacy in the world while dismantling the international order that it helped had built since 1945,” he pointed out.
“A great power game is returning to Southeast Asia,” Sukma stated while acknowledging that the geoeconomic and geopolitical center of gravity of the world is veering from West to the East.
Concurrently, Sukma noted that the growing strategic competition between China and the United States to underline their roles and increase their influence across the fast-growing Indo-Pacific region is visible and progressively defined by how they interact with each other.
EDITED BY INE
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