Integrated Asia: Australia’s Dangerous New Strategic Geography

COG_May 2017

Author/s (editor/s):

Nick Bisley

Publication year:


Publication type:

Conference Paper

Globalization and major power rivalry are creating a China-centric integrated Asian strategic system, drawing together the once-discrete theatres of Northeast, Southeast, South and Central Asia. In his new Centre of Gravity Paper ‘Integrated Asia’, Professor Nick Bisley explores this changing strategic geography. He argues China will sit at the heart of a strategic system which will have maritime and continental dimensions but it will not be able to dominate it or replicate US primacy. US influence in Asia will decline in relative terms and its ability to provide order will be constrained. Nationalist ambition among the region’s giants will make integrated Asia an unstable place where cooperation among the great powers will be much harder to achieve than in the past. As such, Australia needs to reorient its strategic policy to reflect a more integrated Asian strategic system, one that is likely to be much less conducive to its interests than the international environment it has enjoyed over the past four decades or so.

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