Rogozhina Natalia
Regional Security in South-East Asia in the Context of American “IndoPacific Region” Project // RUDN Journal of World History. 2020. Vol. 12. № 4. Р. 338–353. DOI: 10.22363/2312-8127-2020-12-4-338-353
Publication Type:

ISSN 2312-8127

DOI 10.22363/2312-8127-2020-12-4-338-353

The article is devoted to the analysis of the position of the countries of South-East Asia on the construction of security architecture in the region within the framework of the Indo-Pacific region project in the format promoted by the USA. The article examines in detail the factors that determine the attitude of Southeast Asian countries to the American doctrine of “free and open Indo-Pacific”, which they assess as strategically risky and leading to deformation of the existing security system in the region with the loss of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) its central role in ensuring its stability. The response of the Southeast Asian countries to external challenges was the formation of their own concept Asean’s - "Outlook On The Indo-Pacific, which reflects their views on the nature of the relationship within the emerging community. The author analyzes in detail the content of the ASEAN doctrine, which emphasizes the promotion of economic cooperation between the countries of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, in contrast to the geostrategic orientation of the American concept. Three main areas of cooperation are distinguished - maritime cooperation, the development of connectivity and interaction in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Offering such a format for engaging, ASAEN countries proceed from the need to strengthen trust between countries as the most important condition for maintaining peace and order in the region based on the traditional principles of ASEAN. These include: openness, transparency, inclusiveness, rules-based world order anchored on international law, respect for sovereignty, non-interference, equality, mutual trust and respect. ASEAN’s position remains unchanged in maintaining its central role in the evolution of the regional security architecture. Speaking from the position of multirealism, ASEAN sees a way to overcome the conflict of interests in the region in the context of escalating rivalry between the US and China, in creating a synergistic security system based on mechanisms associated with ASEAN. In the ASEAN concept, India-Pacific Region appears as a region of dialogue and cooperation, rather than competition, open to participation of China in the project. The author comes to the conclusion that such format is justified both from the point of view of strategic interests of the countries of Southeast Asia and the whole region, if the relations within it are based on the principles advocated by ASEAN. However, as the author emphasizes, the project proposed by the Southeast Asian countries raises many questions, the main of which is its feasibility in the context of the emerging split of the region along the axis of US-China rivalry for leadership in Asia. Nevertheless, as the author notes, the tendency to strengthen economic cooperation between the countries located in the basin of two oceans creates the basis for the growth of their interest in developing a stable security architecture.

Keywords: Southeast Asia | security | Indo-Pacific region | ASEAN centrality | regional order |

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