Since the end of the Cold War, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has engaged the outside world to play an active security role within greater East Asia. In 1994, ASEAN created the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), at which regional powers such as the United States, Japan, and China meet annually to discuss security issues in the region and beyond.
In 1997, ASEAN+3 was created in order to manage regional issues, especially economics. In 2005, the East Asia Summit (EAS) was established by inviting Australia, India and New Zealand in addition to the ASEAN+3 member states. In 2011, the summit's membership was expanded to the US and Russia.
In 2010, the ASEAN Defense Ministers Meeting (ADMM) expanded its membership to include all members from EAS to form ADMM Plus. By inviting the region's great powers, ASEAN had two objectives: (1) to maintain the constant attention of the great powers to ASEAN and (2) to avoid political marginalization from them.
Read the full essay