The Evolving Regional Architecture for the Asia-Pacific: Toward an Indo-Pacific Idea
Asia-Pacific security and consequent regional architecture have always posed a complicated question to security analysts and policy makers given the region’s vast economic and political diversity. The rising dichotomy between growing regional economic integration and inter-dependence on the one hand, and rising tensions between the major powers and countries in the region on the other, once again raises the issue of how to manage the strategic transformations to ensure peace and stability conducive to economic development and prosperity. It appears that the ASEAN-centred and ASEAN-led mechanisms that have evolved over time can be developed to cope with “new shared interests” and “perception of shared challenges”. The growing linkages between the major sea lines — the Indian and Pacific oceans — and enhanced connectivity among India, ASEAN and China are also influencing strategic transformations. Despite its limitations, the East Asia Summit may be best positioned to develop the Indo-Pacific idea.