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Additional info for Understanding ASEAN
Neutralisation In the meantime, major developments had been occurring in the international and regional environment that considerably enhanced the value that members placed on ASEAN as a vehicle for political co-operation. The fIrst of aseries of dramatic changes in major power relationships affecting the region occurred with the announcement in January 1968 of an accelerated withdrawal of British forces east of Suez, the new target being the end of 1971. The Tet offensive staged by North Vietnam and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam later that month and in February 1968 marked a tum-about in US attitudes towards involvement in the war and led in July 1969 to the announcement by President Nixon of the 'Guam Doctrine', which signalIed that in the future the US would place much greater reliance on indigenous forces to cope with security problems.
The meeting also decided upon the establishment of a central secretariat and appointed a special committee to study recommendations from each country. In addition, the ministers directed that ASEAN should 'implement those recommendations of the UN study team that can be agreed upon'. In April 1974 a formal dialogue was initiated with Australia, which agreed to sponsor a programme of co-operative projects. The joint communique of the Seventh ASEAN Ministerial Meeting, held in Jakarta on 7-9 May 1974, expressed satisfaction that Japan had agreed to exercise arestraining influence on synthetic rubber exports.
They also realised that it was necessary to revise ASEAN's consultative and decision-making machinery in order to accommodate the new and urgent demands of economic co-operation. Thus, a sense of urgency and purpose, unusual in ASEAN until that time, pervaded the increased tempo of consultations after 1975. This urgency was to lead to some mistakes requiring correction when the realities of practical co-operation were better understood. 42 Understanding ASEAN The Ball Summit The historie ASEAN Summit Meeting in Bali on 23-4 February 1976 marked the formal commencement of ASEAN's second phase.
Understanding ASEAN by Alison Broinowski (eds.)