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Jakarta, 29 September 2015
The Habibie Center will host its 25th Talking ASEAN dialogue titled, “In Pursuit of Peaceful Settlement in the South China Sea: The Role of Civil Societies” at The Habibie Center Building in Jakarta. This particular Talking ASEAN will feature as resource persons Dr. Kusnanto Anggoro (Lecturer, Indonesia Defense University), Dr. Kwei-Bo Huang (Secretary General of The Association of Foreign Relations, Taiwan; Associate Professor, Department of Diplomacy, National Chengchi University), and Muhamad Arif (Researcher, ASEAN Studies Program, The Habibie Center) with A. Ibrahim Almuttaqi (Head, ASEAN Studies Program, The Habibie Center) moderating. The objectives of this Talking ASEAN are to: discuss the recent development in the South China Sea with regards to the territorial disputes as well as other important issues; and identify potential roles and challenges of civil society in its contribution to find a peaceful settlement in the South China Sea.  Recent development in the South China Sea suggests that the dispute is entering a new episode. With China completing its extensive land reclamation projects, the United States strengthening its presence and alliances in the region, and other regional powers continuing to build up their military, the possibility of open conflict in the disputed area is now higher than ever. Regional institution-led initiatives notwithstanding, there is a need to find a creative breakthrough in settling the dispute. In the pursuit of peaceful settlement in South China Sea, it is time to turn to non-state-centric approaches to conflict settlement: to explore the potential role of civil society, which itself has proven influential in the regionalization process in Southeast Asia. Talking ASEAN dialogue on “In Pursuit of Peaceful Settlement in the South China Sea: The Role of Civil Societies” is one of a series of twelve dialogues regularly held each month by The Habibie Center.

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