Several components of contemporary Indo-Pacific security relations are especially prominent. Among these are the rise of China and its impact on both regional and international power politics; intensifying geopolitical rivalry over the Korean peninsula, in the East and South China Seas, and throughout the various â€˜island chainsâ€™ spanning both the Pacific and Indian Oceans; and ASEANâ€™s incessant quest to exercise leadership on regional order-building processes. The internal political dynamics and economic imperatives of contending state actors along with â€˜non-traditionalâ€™ security factors such as climate change and pandemics are increasingly shaping these trends in ways previously and insufficiently appreciated. After offering a short overview of the rapidly evolving Indo-Pacific security environment, the analysis will focus on Chinaâ€™s centrality in regional security politics, responses to that countryâ€™s rise by other key strategic actors (i.e., the United States, Japan, and India) and future prospects for ASEAN to remain a viable player in ongoing regional geopolitics. The article concludes that while efforts to institutionalize regional stability and order-building by ASEAN and other multilateral entities will persist, great power competition and crisis diplomacy will most likely dominate the Indo-Pacific security environment over the remainder of this decade and beyond.
|Chinese Studies Journal
|Published - 2021