Southeast Asia's Treacherous Waters

Jun 2, 2016 | 09:15 GMT
Southeast Asia's Treacherous Waters
The number of training exercises in the tri-border area between Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines are increasing, but may not be enough to secure the maritime space's resources and shipping lanes.

States in and outside Southeast Asia have paid less attention to security conditions in the tri-border area -- maritime and territorial spaces covering waters of Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines -- where piracy, kidnappings, terrorist attacks and criminal activities have threatened fishing and trade flows. In light of recent maritime incidents, the tri-border states are now seeking to base their collaboration on the model that has served the Straits of Malacca to combat piracy with coordinated patrols, information sharing and incident management. If successful, expanded maritime security cooperation between Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines may blossom into collaboration on other issues, such as territorial disputes in the South China Sea or regional activities of powers outside the region. But weak state control over territory, geographic barriers, poor coast guard capabilities and concerns about sovereignty will make effective multilateral maritime security efforts difficult....

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