The geopolitical structure of the Indo-Pacific could be said to be divided into four broad features. The first of these is the maritime nature of the system, which compels both internal and external powers to align around the geography of the system and sub-regional systems. The second feature is the US Alliance System (also known as the San Francisco System); the third is the integration that is taking place under regional architectures (such as ASEAN and PIF); and the fourth is the rise of large regional powers (such as China and India). The fact that neither China nor India quite belong to either the US Alliance system or to regional architecture makes them outliers. Also, the fact that China – historically a land-based power – is developing itself into a maritime economic and military power while also incrementally challenging the norms and rules upheld by the San Francisco System, defines many of the tensions, diplomacy, and crises of the region. Overall, the region could be said to be represented by the “Asian Paradox”: it is home to both the fastest growing economies while also representing some of the world’s most troubling security issues.
Examine major features and currents that shape geopolitical landscape in the Indo-Pacific.
Examine key factors influencing great power competition in the Indo-Pacific.
Dr. John Hemmings' areas of focus at DKI APCSS are Northeast Asian security, Japanese defence policy, the Indo-Pacific concept, alliance theory, and US alliances. He takes a special interest in 5G and national security. He was the founding Director of the Asia Studies Centre and Deputy Research Director at the Henry Jackson Society, a trans-Atlantic think tank in London. While he was at the Henry Jackson Society, Dr. Hemmings co-authored a study on Huawei, 5G and the Five Eyes, multiple studies on the Indo-Pacific, and coordinate a project on diplomacy on the Korean peninsula.
Dr. Virginia Bacay Watson's areas of interest and publication include science, technology and security in the Asia-Pacific region, water security, and Southeast Asia geopolitics. She has held appointments at the University of Denver and Colorado School of Mines and served as an exchange faculty for the University of Colorado in Beijing, China, as well as a consultant on issues pertaining to her professional areas of interest. She is the editor of DKI APCSS’ first e-book, The Interface of Science, Technology, and Security (2012). Dr. Watson holds a master’s degree in Asian Studies from Cornell University and a doctorate in International Studies from the University of Denver’s Josef Korbel School of International Studies.