The Indo-Pacific Concept: a key coordination framework or an expression of hope than of geo-strategic reality?
Tuesday, September 13, 2018
The National Bureau of Asian Research (NBR), Washington office
Japan and the United States are commonly responding to China’s regional initiatives cautiously, considering the risk of the “unsustainable debt burden” the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) would bring to the relevant countries, which highly rely upon China’s investment for their infrastructure development. Aiming to “improve inter- and intra- region connectivity, and to promote fundamental values such as freedom, openness and rule of law”, the free and open Indo-Pacific concept now emerges as a convenient platform for Japan and the United States to flourish their bilateral partnership. Yet a concrete policy or institutional body has yet to emerge within the Indo-Pacific concept, while more than 50 Chinese state-owned enterprises have invested in 1700 BRI projects. This short presentation aims to explore the recent move in the institutionalisation of economic cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region, especially trade (regional integration) and development (regional infrastructure), and it examines to what extent Japan and the United States have set out to coordinate their foreign economic policies to support their respective and shared geo-economic interests in the context of competitive economic governance in the Indo-Pacific.
- Takashi Terada
USJI Operating Advisor / Professor, Doshisha University