Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

Australia has once again demonstrated its cavalier disregard for its South-East Asian neighbours with its announcement of the AUKUS alliance.

Like pretty much every country, the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) were sideswiped by the news, in particular the introduction of nuclear submarines to the region by a non-nuclear power.

On September 9, only days before the AUKUS was unveiled, Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne and Defence Minister Peter Dutton met their counterparts in Jakarta for the seventh so-called 2+2 meeting. They apparently did not advise them of what was about to come -- the headline of that meeting was that the "ministers underscored the importance of maintaining and promoting a stable, peaceful, prosperous, resilient and inclusive Indo-Pacific“ as they upgraded existing bilateral agreements amid the usual raft of new initiatives and promises to uphold regional order.