The Quad and ASEAN — where to next?

Sarah Teo, Nanyang Technological University, for East Asia Forum

With their fourth leaders’ meeting in May 2022, the Quad has come a long way since senior officials from Australia, India, Japan and the United States first convened on the sidelines of ASEAN-led summits five years ago. Early doubts about the Quad’s sustainability should surely now give way to…

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Will the Quad deliver on its promises?

Kuyoun Chung, Kangwon National University, for East Asia Forum

The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue met in Tokyo late last month to affirm the continued cooperation between the United States, Australia, Japan and India to promote regional stability in the Indo-Pacific. But the leaders left the meeting offering a divided response to the Russian invasion of…

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China cannot hinder international navigation through Taiwan Strait

Tran Đinh Hoanh for the Pacific Forum

During China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin’s Regular Press Conference on June 13, he responded to a Bloomberg question concerning the legal status of the Taiwan Strait. Asked about Chinese military officials’ contention that the Taiwan Strait does not constitute “international waters,”…

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US–ASEAN summitry signals step up in relations

Brian Eyler, Stimson Center, for East Asia Forum

The US–ASEAN Special Summit on 12–13 May 2022 was the first time ASEAN leaders have ever met the US president at the White House. Its outcomes show the United States remains focussed on the Indo-Pacific and China despite the crisis in Ukraine. The summit renewed US commitment to the region, yet it…

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The Future of ASEAN Maritime Security Cooperation

Tharishini Krishnan, National Defence University Malaysia, for East Asia Forum

The ‘maritime security’ buzzphrase emerged in the late 1990s following the establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Combating Transnational Crime during the 1998 Hanoi Declaration. But the term focused broadly on piracy and armed robbery or transnational crime rather than on maritime security…

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China’s real ambitions for the South Pacific

John Garrick and Yan C. Bennett, for The Strategist

President Xi Jinping’s ‘China dream’ now extends across the Pacific Ocean, where his foreign minister, Wang Yi, recently completed a Pacific islands tour of sweeping ambition. Set against the backdrop of China’s stagnating economy yet continuing drive for world power, Wang sought to finalise…

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Broadening the Quad’s appeal in the Indo-Pacific

William Choong and Sharon Seah, ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute, for East Asia Forum

The wilderness years of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad), after its initial inception during the 2004 Asian tsunami, are over. The latest summit in Tokyo reaffirmed its mission as a ‘force for good’ while promising a broad array of Indo-Pacific cyber security, maritime awareness,…

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Countering hybrid threats in the Indo-Pacific

Lesley Seebeck, Emily Williams and Jake Wallis, for The Strategist

Enabled by digital technologies and fuelled by geopolitical competition, hybrid threats in the Indo-Pacific are increasing in breadth, application and intensity. Hybrid threats are a mix of military, non-military, covert and overt activities by state and non-state actors that occur below the level…

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Close encounters of the PLA kind: Xi shows the South Pacific its future

Michael Shoebridge for The Strategist

The 26 May incident where a Chinese fighter aircraft fired flares and chaff at an Australian maritime patrol aircraft in international airspace above the South China Sea, risking a potentially fatal crash, is not an isolated episode. And it’s not peculiar to the Australia–China relationship, so it…

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