The Asia-Pacific region is undergoing a strategic shift in a period of global uncertainty. China is emerging as a confident and powerful actor, while the United States is perceived as having diminished influence. The region’s geography — a predominantly maritime continent composed of several semi-enclosed seas — means that the Asia-Pacific is afflicted with undefined maritime boundaries at a time of growing state interest in rent earned from the sea. Notwithstanding its status as the world’s most economically vibrant region, the Asia-Pacific confronts a number of strategic challenges that are the source of considerable uncertainty.
Canada and Australia — resource-based economies with a record of bilateral and institutional engagement in the region, and important US allies — have an interest in these challenges, and in ensuring regional strategic stability that promotes economic growth.