Emerging Geopolitical Trends and Security in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the People’s Republic of China, and India (ACI) Region

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ADBI Working Paper Series

Emerging Geopolitical Trends and
Security in the Association of
Southeast Asian Nations, the
People’s Republic of China, and
India (ACI) Region

C. Raja Mohan

No. 412
March 2013

Asian Development Bank Institute

C. Raja Mohan is distinguished fellow at the Observer Research Foundation in New Delhi.
This paper was prepared as a background paper for the ADBI/ADB study on the Role of Key Emerging Economies—ASEAN, the People's Republic of China (PRC), and India— for a Balanced, Sustainable, and Resilient Asia.

The views expressed in this paper are the views of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of ADBI, the ADB, its Board of Directors, or the governments they represent. ADBI does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this paper and accepts no responsibility for any consequences of their use. Terminology used may not necessarily be consistent with ADB official terms.

The Working Paper series is a continuation of the formerly named Discussion Paper series; the numbering of the papers continued without interruption or change. ADBI’s working papers reflect initial ideas on a topic and are posted online for discussion. ADBI encourages readers to post their comments on the main page for each working paper (given in the citation below). Some working papers may develop into other forms of publication.

Suggested citation:
Mohan, C.R. 2013. Emerging Geopolitical Trends and Security in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the People’s Republic of China, and India (ACI) Region. ADBI Working Paper 412. Tokyo: Asian Development Bank Institute. Available: http://www.adbi.org/workingpaper/2013/03/15/5543.geopolitical.trends.security.asean.prc.india/

Please contact the author for information about this paper.
Email: crmohan@orfonline.org

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ADBI Working Paper 412

Mohan

Abstract
The rapid economic growth in the region consisting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), and India has begun to change the strategic landscape of the world. The accretion of military power that inevitably followed the region’s economic growth is altering the balance of power within the region and between Asia and the West. This background paper outlines the geopolitical trends in a region that has become the center stage of international politics in the 21st century. It begins with a review of the idea of Asia in the 20th century and identifies the inherited political legacy of Asia in the middle of the 20th century. The paper then provides an assessment of the region’s unfolding geopolitical transformation in recent years and asks if the regional structures in Asia can cope with it. The paper also explores the problems of integrating the two rising Asian powers, the PRC and India, into the structures of global governance. It concludes with a brief discussion on the strategic policy imperatives facing the ACI region.

JEL Classification: F59

ADBI Working Paper 412

Mohan

Contents
1. 

Introduction ........................................................................................................................ 3 

2. 

The Idea of Asia ................................................................................................................ 4 

3. 

The Geopolitical Legacy .................................................................................................... 5 

4. 

The Transformation of Asian Geopolitics .......................................................................... 7 

5. 

Asian Security Regionalism...
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