Tag Archives: Asia-Pacific security

Major Powers in the Indo-Pacific

Originally published as Jabin T. Jacob, ‘Role of Major Powers in the Indo-Pacific Region’ in Gurpreet S Khurana and Antara Ghosal Singh (eds). India and China: Constructing A Peaceful Order in the Indo-Pacific (New Delhi: National Maritime Foundation, 2016), pp. 79-89.

The conversion of the ‘Asia-Pacific’ into the ‘Indo-Pacific’ – a construct of fairly recent vintage – is of somewhat varying legitimacy depending on the issues one is dealing with. From an economic perspective, the ‘Indo-Pacific’ makes sense given the long energy supply lines between West Asia and East Asia and also from a goods trade perspective. The ‘Indo-Pacific’ is also increasingly relevant on the basis of various new and specific themes such as climate change, theft of intellectual property, currency manipulation and cyber-security.

However, from a traditional security perspective, the new nomenclature appears rather contrived still even if energy security or nuclear proliferation – that link the Indian and Pacific Oceans – are major issues for the growing powers in Asia. This is so because it is only truly the United States that links the two geographies in terms of credible security capacity. Further, concerns of piracy in the Indian Ocean apart, it is the East Asian half of the Indo-Pacific that is the more critical region from a maritime security perspective given the various maritime disputes involving China and its neighbours, the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula and the incipient great power competition between China and the United States. Keeping this context in mind, this essay will examine the role of three major powers in East Asia, namely, Japan, Russia and the United States, and their interactions with China as a way of understanding evolving dynamics in the Indo-Pacific.

Japan

As neighbours and sibling civilizations, China and Japan have been structurally oriented towards rivalry. China is unwilling to forgive or forget the humiliation by and depredations of the Japanese during WW II and the Japanese elites that matter are unwilling to fully and genuinely apologize or to let go of the chip on their shoulder from having bested and dominated their larger neighbor for however brief a period. The current Chinese territorial claims over the Senkakus are only a manifestation of this historical reality rather than the main problem. Continue reading Major Powers in the Indo-Pacific

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The US ‘Pivot’ to Asia: Impact on Indian Foreign and Security Policies

Originally published as “美国 ‘转向’ 亚洲: 对印度外交和安全政策的影响,” (“The US ‘Pivot’ to Asia: Impact on Indian Foreign and Security Policies”), 中国国际战略评论2012 (China International Strategy Review 2012), Centre for International Strategic Studies, Peking University, June 2012, pp. 62-72.

内容提要:2012年1月发布的”维持美国全球领导地位:21世界国防重点”阐明了未来十年美国的重点安全目标,引起各国广泛关注.本文从美制定该战略的国内,国际背景和重点内容入手,分析了美国向亚洲再平衡将对中国和印度造成哪些外交,安全等方面的影响,指出印美间存在不可逾越的分歧,印应在新形势下同时处理好对华和对没关系,实现本国在亚洲,乃至世界发挥更大作用的抱负.

Abstract: Announced in January 2012, “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” expounds on the United States’ key security goals in the coming decade, and has generated wide interest in the countries of the region. This article begins by outlining the domestic and international contexts and the key points of the United States’ rebalancing towards Asia. It then analyzes the possible foreign policy, security and other implications for China and India, pointing out that there are insurmountable differences between the United States and India. In the new environment, India has to simultaneously handle well its relations with both the United States and China while trying to achieve its regional, even global, ambitions most effectively.

关键词: 美国国际安全战略,美印关系,亚太安全,中印关系

Keywords: American international security strategy, Indo-US relations, Asia-Pacific security, Sino-Indian relations

(The abstract above in English is a rough translation. I would have summarized it somewhat differently. The original text in English follows below).

In January 2012, the US Department of Defense (DoD) released a new strategic plan titled, “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,”[1] putting forward key American security goals for the coming decade. While US military forces will continue to be involved in security missions around the world, the Pentagon document was notable for the assertion that the US “will of necessity rebalance toward the Asia-Pacific region” (italics in original) (p.2). This doctrine has been widely described as a US ‘pivot’ toward Asia and within China views about the American move have ranged from seeing a fresh US attempt at a containment strategy to calling for calm while continuing to pursue its national interest.[2] Continue reading The US ‘Pivot’ to Asia: Impact on Indian Foreign and Security Policies