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Discuss: Can ASEAN Lead Asian Integration?

L to R: Former ASEAN Sec. Gen. Ong Keng Yong, Indonesian Foreign Minister N Hassan Wirajuda, and ASEAN Sec. Gen. Surin Pitsuwan, in Jakarta, January 7, 2008.  (Ahmad Zamroni/AFP/Getty Images)

L to R: Former ASEAN Sec. Gen. Ong Keng Yong, Indonesian Foreign Minister N Hassan Wirajuda, and ASEAN Sec. Gen. Surin Pitsuwan, in Jakarta, January 7, 2008. (Ahmad Zamroni/AFP/Getty Images)

While starting as a loose coalition of developing countries, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) is now recognized as an increasingly dynamic international player.

Through regional arrangements, such as the recently established East Asia Free Trade Area (EAFTA) and a Comprehensive Economic Partnership, ASEAN is expecting to reach economic integration by 2015, and play a more powerful role in the global economy.

But as the U.S. and China continue to jostle for influence in the region, and as ASEAN countries face social instability and regional economic and military imbalances, will ASEAN be able to lead Asian integration?

Join the discussion below.