ASEAN-Plus or Plus-ASEAN: The Roles of Regional Major Powers in Dealing with the Myanmar Crisis

22 Nov 2021

Despite their leverages on Myanmar, key regional major powers, including China, Japan, India, and South Korea, remain adamant about staying on the sideline and playing a role more as observers to the Myanmar Crisis. Some may have expressed strong statements and even sanctions, but none has so far looked assertive enough in the effort to change the status quo. Regional major powers have given the impression of putting too much respect on ASEAN, pushing the organisation to spearhead the mitigation effort despite its inability to push for a breakthrough in implementing the Five-Point Consensus.

This policy brief, based on an internal workshop co-organized between Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Indonesia, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) Japan, and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) Singapore, highlights the position of key regional major powers on the Myanmar crisis and presents some policy options in forging cooperation among them.

This Policy Brief is published by the CSIS Myanmar Initiative Program. The program seeks to initiate policy research, discussions and collaborative engagements to generate options for regional governments and organisations along with civil society groups and the international community to effectively address the post-coup humanitarian crisis in Myanmar.

The program‘s activities and published materials are generously supported by regional and international institutions and donors. The publication does not reflect the positions of its research clients and sponsors. CSIS is an independent, nonprofit think-tank institution based in Jakarta, Indonesia. Since 1971, CSIS has continuously worked to provide policy recommendations to shape government policies at the domestic, regional and international levels.

Limited Print and Electronic Distribution Rights: This document and trademark(s) contained herein are protected by law. This representation of CSIS intellectual property is provided for noncommercial use only. Unauthorized posting of this publication online is prohibited. Permission is given to duplicate this document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Permission is required from CSIS to reproduce, or reuse in another form, any of our research documents for commercial use. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit

For further questions related to this policy brief or the program, please contact Dr Lina Alexandra, the Coordinator for Myanmar Initiative Program at

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