In all the festive excitement, it was hard to find any mention in the Australian press of the confirmation of the US-ASEAN meeting at Sunnylands in February. There is commentary here, here, and here.
While we should welcome this demonstration of America's higher priority for our region, it's another example of Australia is missing the 'two steps forward, one step back' progress of ASEAN. Erratic though this progress may be, there is likely to be more happening in ASEAN than in our favoured forum, APEC.
We can't elbow our way into the Sunnylands meeting, but perhaps we should acknowledge the 'centrality of ASEAN' for its members and search out new ways of working with ASEAN.
Photo by Flickr user ASEAN.