In the first of two events on Timor Leste, the panellists will explore the geopolitical implications of this small island nation’s admission to ASEAN:

Professor Lee Jones will discuss why Timor-Leste has been kept waiting to join ASEAN for 11 years, before being admitted ‘in principle’ in 2022. He will identify the proponents and opponents of Timorese membership, identifying ongoing doubts about Timor-Leste’s capacity and stability, concerns from poorer members about aid diversion, and the growing geopolitical concerns that have finally won out.

Dr Rebecca Stating will discuss Timor-Leste’s efforts to gain membership into ASEAN. She explains how and why Timor-Leste has pursued ASEAN membership in the context of its broader foreign policy priorities and interests since achieving independence in 2002.

Dr Laurentina Soares will mainly discuss geopolitical implications of Timor-Leste’s participation in ASEAN to Timor-Leste and China relations.

More about the speakers:

Lee Jones is Professor of Political Economy and International Relations at Queen Mary University of London. His research focuses on Southeast Asia and China, exploring sovereignty, interventionism, governance, security and political economy. His most recent book is Fractured China: How State Transformation is Shaping China’s Rise (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Dr Rebecca (Bec) Strating is the Director of La Trobe Asia and an Associate Professor in Politics and International Relations in the Department of Politics, Media and Philosophy at La Trobe University, Melbourne. She is interested in the politics of maritime disputes in Asia. Among other works, she is the author of The Post-Colonial Security Dilemma: Timor-Leste and the International Community (Institute of Southeast Asian Studies Press, Singapore: 2019).

Laurentina ‘Mica’ Barreto Soares holds a PhD from Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne. Her PhD research focuses on China–Timor-Leste relations.

Chair: Takahiro (Taka) Kamisuna is a PhD student at Centre of Development Studies and Research Assistant at Centre for Geopolitics, University of Cambridge. Taka has worked on nationalism in Timor-Leste and Indonesia. His works were and will be published from ‘Indonesia’ journal and ‘Nations and Nationalism’.



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