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“Geostrategic Importance of Asia Pacific Region”

Introduction:


The region of Asia Pacific does not contain a single Asian identity but it is an incredibly dynamic and a diverse region. There are approximately 50 countries and each country has their own cultural, political,economical, environmental and religious landscapes. Each country's cultures influence their development and global identities. When considering the scale of the worlds most populated region which is a home to more than 4.5 billion people and it has more than 6 times more Millennial’s than US and EU combined. It is clear that these forces have the potential to reshape the global consumer market. The region also accounts for staggering 60 percent of worlds economic growth up to 88 percent of the next billion entrance to the middle class by 2022 are projected to live in Asia and their spending is forecasted to top 35 trillion dollars by 2030. South Korea and Singapore are expected to be among the top 5 global markets to adopt the internet of things IOT and over 90 percent of China's provinces and municipalities listed IOT as a pillar industry in their development plans.

Geo-Strategic Competitions in Asia Pacific:

This location has strategically and militarily importance as well as states like, US, China, India, Pakistan, Japan and North Korea are also located in this region. Moreover, it has economic significance as well as some major economic hegemony like US, China, Australia, India, Singapore and Taiwan also situated here. These states in Asia Pacific play a vital role in Global economy and contribute almost 39 percent to world economy. Some famous and economically important ports also exist here which are significant economic hubs. For example, port of Shanghai is located in this region which provides almost 600 million tons goods to the world. Along with these economic importance's, the china and US economic rivalry majorly based in the region of Asia pacific. The south china sea and Indian ocean has their great importance to both china and US. Both have major economic ambitions in these areas so the tension between the two states is also on high here. Such economic tension and conflict are one of the hot topics in current international politics.

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Table 2: China’s dominance in Asia Pacific

Similarly, if we look to this region through different parameters like that of US and India strategic partnership, this region plays a lot of part to the international politics. For example, the US sees India as a rising power to compete with China. The US has made a strategic alliance with India in the region to counter China and both states have conducted a series of high-level agreements in this regard. For example, the Logistic exchange memorandum of accords LEMOA2016, Communication compatibility and Security agreement 2018, Basic exchange and cooperation agreement (BECA), and the latest defense agreement 2020 are some high profile strategic and military accords between the USA and India for opposing the increased influence of China in the region. US is the major global power and India is one of the major powers in Asia, nexus of such important actors in Asia pacific has significance impacts on regional as well as global politics.

Major Rivalries in the Asia Pacific Region:

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The US-China strategic rivalry flows from the fundamental fact of China threatening to dislodge the US’s pre-eminent position as the technological giant. This, in turn, influences the principles of global governance, financial institutions and monetary system, and multilateral institutions. China’s rise essentially menaces the existing balance of power in terms of technology leadership and economic power. China’s economic hierarchy sucks in the economies of Southeast Asia, Central, and South Asia because of its immense market and purchasing power. The following are the three major potential conflicts in the region:

The Korean Peninsula

China and Taiwan

South China Sea

The Korean Peninsula Conflict:​

It is one of the most urgent security threats in the Asia Pacific Region which is prevalent due to the failed peace building efforts since the Armistice Agreement which was signed in 1953 as a result of war between North Korea and South Korea. The agreement allowed the prisoner of wars to stay where they want to; a new border line was drawn between the two states near the 38th parallel which gave South Korea an extra 1500 square miles of territory and created a 2 mile wide demilitarized zone that still exists today.

China and Taiwan Conflict:

Another matter that continues to be a source of concern is the conflict between mainland China and Taiwan. While the confrontational rhetoric has been tempered, tension between China and Taiwan continues. Predictions as to what China will do are hard to make, since, as with the Korean situation, the range of opinions varies widely. While some authors see the build up of the Chinese military as a harbinger of invasion, others doubt that such a direct move will be made and instead predict continued low-level military intimidation over a long period of time.
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The South China Sea Conflict:

A third potential source of conflict that has been drawing a considerable amount of attention is the land claim dispute that has arisen in the South China Sea, especially over the Spratly Islands. Six governments - Brunei, Malaysia, China, Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam - have all laid claim to all or some of the region. The islands in question are considered important for strategic security reasons, commercial shipping, fish and hydrocarbons. This last resource is particularly important, as it is often by granting hydrocarbon concessions in disputed zones that claimant states exercise jurisdiction. Competition to assert sovereignty has led to numerous occupations and low-level military confrontations between the several claimants. This dispute is not likely to be resolved soon. Despite their small size these islands are very important, because they lie astride the principal sea lines of communication linking the Indian and Pacific Ocean. Should one country succeed in gaining control of all the Spratly Islands, there would be a significant shift in the balance of power in the region.
 

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