Does the US Want to Divide the World into Democratic and Non-democratic Nations?
Mehmet Ozay considers the implications of the invitee list in the Asia-Pacific. Notably left off the list were Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, considered de facto allies of the United States and important for its interests in the region, while Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines were invited. This division has led many in the region to speculate if there is a rift between those ASEAN member countries that were not invited and the United States due to ideological differences regarding democracy. The lack of engagement also contributed to Japan's reaction following the Summit, asking how democracy in the Asia-Pacific region can be improved without US facilitation and through common political, economic and cultural linkages in the region. The author encourages that the US moving forward does not judge other democracies apathetically, but instead to take a more constructive approach in respecting their existing democratic institutions and galvanising discussion on building democratic institutions on that basis.