Indonesian President Joko Widodo has urged the members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to avoid being dragged into the big-power rivalry, as he opened the ASEAN summit in Jakarta on Wednesday. He called for unity and cooperation among the 10-nation bloc, which he compared to a ship sailing in turbulent waters.
“ASEAN has agreed to not be a proxy to any powers. Don’t turn our ship into an arena for rivalry that is destructive,” Widodo said in his opening remarks. “We, as leaders, have to ensure this ship keeps moving and sailing and we must become its captain to achieve peace, stability, and prosperity together.”