Indo-Pacific strategies, perceptions and partnerships

The view from seven countries
Research paper ISBN: 978 1 78413 465 5
Chinese Navy in the Indo-Pacific

Cleo Paskal

Former Associate Fellow, Environment and Society Programme and Asia-Pacific Programme

As the Indo-Pacific’s strategic importance increases, countries around the world are developing new policies to strengthen their reach in the region. While there is a long history of international partnerships in the Indo-Pacific, many recent forays in the region are in response to China’s economic, political and military expansion there.

This paper is based on field research, roundtables and face-to-face interviews in seven countries (including China) chosen to provide a variety of perspectives and insights on the Indo-Pacific, particularly regarding policy strategies and objectives. 

The research uncovered shared internal divisions within the sample countries in how they perceive and engage with China. In a sense, against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, some of these divisions have since been resolved with countries generally more cautious towards China. Regardless of intentions, a broad understanding of the different actors in the region is crucial for countries seeking to form strong partnerships and to establish a successful Indo-Pacific strategy.