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Association of South East Asian nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967, by the governments of Indonesia, Malaysia/ the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand. It was formed during the Vietnam War and supported unsuccessful United States effort to prevent the establishment of a communist government in Vietnam. ASEAN constitutes a cohesive, generally Pro-western political bloc in the United Nations but has had difficulty in promoting closer economic ties among its members. The cold war wounded down by fall of Berlin wall and the unification of Germany. As a result the United States closed its military bases in the Philippines and the Soviet Union did the same in Vietnam. At that point ASEAN turned in Japan's direction and became relatively dependent on investment, aid, exports, and technology sent from Japan. But over the last few years it was suggested by many critics that ASEAN should gain confidence in enhance its ability to stand on its own feet. The ASEAN members are helping to expand its membership to cover all Southeast Asia with the admittance of Cambodia, Laos and Burma.