Sources of Tension in the Asia-Pacific: Strategic Competition, Divided Regionalism and Non-traditional Security Challenges

Australia-Canada Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific Paper No. 1

August 14, 2013

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.

Part of Series

Australia-Canada Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific

The three papers in this series, co-published with the Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI), are part of a two-year project between CIGI and ASPI exploring the possibilities for Canadian and Australian cooperation in promoting strengthened security and regional governance in the Asia-Pacific. The project will culminate in a special report that will contribute to discussions at the February 2014 Australia-Canada Economic Leadership Forum in Melbourne. The report will be presented later in 2014 to both Australian and Canadian governments.

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