The National Security College at the Australian National University is proud to present this collection of papers from the major international conference on Indo-Pacific maritime security that it convened in March 2016. The Indo-Pacific region is becoming widely recognised as the global centre of gravity, whether in terms of economic interaction, demographics, transnational security challenges or the strategic balance. As the February 2016 Australian Defence White Paper affirmed, this is Australia’s region, but it is also a vast maritime zone where the interests of many players are engaged. These powers include China, India, Japan and the United States, but also substantial medium and smaller powers, including Australia and Indonesia, and stakeholders from beyond the region, including in Europe. The Indo-Pacific sea-lanes, after all, are becoming the world’s principal highways for energy and commerce. The conference focused on the emerging concept of the Indo-Pacific, maritime tensions - including in the East and South China Seas - transnational security issues, the Indian Ocean, the role of Japan in particular as a regional security partner, and prospects for partnerships involving other countries. The National Security College convened this conference as part of a wider research and policy engagement project with the generous support of the Embassy of Japan. This collection of papers is a further element of that important partnership activity. Although the conference placed particular emphasis on the way in which Australia and Japan could deepen their security partnership in a wider regional context, there was also thoughtful input by experts and policy practitioners from other powers. Voices from Indonesia, China, India and the United States, including Admiral Scott Swift, Commander, US Pacific Fleet, made compelling and original contributions to the growing international debate about how to ensure stability and peace amid changing power dynamics in this vast region. The focus was on the complex interplay of strategic competition and cooperation across this two-ocean system, which is so integral to global security and prosperity in the 21st century. In particular, I thank my colleague Dr David Brewster for his stewardship of this valuable project and commend this collection of papers to you as an enduring resource for policy practitioners and scholars alike. I also thank the many National Security College staff who made this idea a reality.
|Commissioning body||ANU National Security College|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|