As a geostrategic term, the notion of “free and open Indo-Pacific” was initially proposed by Japan, India, and Australia, not an American invention. Yet, since the publication of the United States National Security in December 2017, the “free and open Indo-Pacific” has quickly become a capstone phrase for the US Asia-Pacific strategy under Donald Trump. To further articulate the American strategy towards the region, the US Defense Department published an “Indo-Pacific Strategy Report” on June 1, 2019, and the US State Department released a report on “A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision” on November 4, 2019. The aim of inter-state strategic competition with China, “defined by geopolitical rivalry between free and repressive world order visions”, has become clear. To what extent is this US Indo-Pacific strategy similar and different from the Obama Administration’s “rebalancing to Asia” strategy? What are the implications of this strategy to future regional geostrategic landscapes? How would Beijing respond to this US Indo-Pacific strategy? This talk will address these and related issues to the RSIS audience.
About the Speaker
Richard W. Hu is a UM Development Foundation Distinguished Professor and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences of University of Macau. He is also an Honorary Professor of Politics and International Affairs at University of Hong Kong, where he taught over 20 years and served as Head of Department of Politics and Public Administration. He was a John M. Olin Fellow in National Security Studies at Harvard University, IGCC Postdoc Fellow at UC San Diego, and CNAPS Fellow at Brookings Institution. He has authored and edited five books and published around 100 journal articles and book chapters. His latest publications include “Discerning States’ Revisionist and Status-Quo Orientations: Comparing China and the U.S.”, European Journal of International Relations, 25-2: 613-640 (2019), and “Xi Jinping’s ‘Major Country Diplomacy’: The Role of Leadership in Foreign Policy Transformation,” Journal of Contemporary China, 28:115, 1-14 (2019).