Southeast Asia: A Victory for Regionalism

In most major showdowns between regional aspirations and national pride, nationalism usually triumphs. An exception took place at last week's meeting in Djakarta of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, made up of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. Their promising, year-old political and economic association was bedeviled by the nastiest neighborhood dispute between two ASEAN members since Indonesia's konfrontasi with Malaysia ended in 1966. Encouragingly, regionalism came out on top.

At issue was the Philippines' claim to the Malaysian state of Sabah. The dispute is one of the more...