In recent years, the Pacific has been recognized internationally as a region of growing strategic importance. In the US, the Trump administration has advanced its ‘Free and Open Indo-Pacific’ strategy, while New Zealand has announced a ‘Pacific Reset’ recognizing the complex and growing array of challenges in the region. The UK has also followed suit, committing to opening three new diplomatic missions in Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu in 2019.
Speakers consider how developments such as China’s Belt and Road Initiative and its increased military presence, as well as the broader threat of climate change, have impacted the Pacific and served to shift regional dynamics and instigate new economic competition and regional security challenges.
Chris Hughes, Professor of International Relations, Department of International Relations, London School of Economics
Cleo Paskal, Associate Fellow, Asia-Pacific Programme and Energy, Environment and Resources Department, Chatham House
Dr Anna Powles, Senior Lecturer in Security Studies, Centre for Defence and Security Studies, Massey University
Chair: Dr Champa Patel, Head, Asia-Pacific Programme, Chatham House