US President Donald Trump formally put forward the “Indo-Pacific Region” as a geostrategic concept, which has a clear intention in targeting China. Australia also adopted the US strategic adjustment and officially defined the Indo-Pacific region as the geographic scope of its foreign and defense policies. Likewise, Japan presented the concept of “free and open Indo-Pacific” for coordinating US strategic needs, but considering the positive readjustment of China-Japan relations later on, Prime Minister Abe attenuated his stance by adopting a new description of the “Indo-Pacific framework”. The Indian government defines the Indo-Pacific by highlighting inclusiveness. As early as 2013, China proposed the “Belt and Road Strategic Initiative”, which covers the whole Eurasian continent, the Western Pacific, the South Pacific, the India Ocean and the African continent. Moreover, the “21st Century Maritime Silk Road” connects the Western Pacific, South Pacific and the Indian Ocean, and enters the Mediterranean Sea and reaches the Atlantic Ocean. This is a grand framework for trans-regional and inter-regional coordination and cooperation. Are these two strategic frameworks antagonistic to each other or are there opportunities for collaboration? Southeast Asia is the core area where these two frameworks overlap. Thus ASEAN countries need to evaluate their status and role carefully and rationally. The geographic location of ASEAN determines its intermediary role, and ASEAN can even guide the two frameworks from negative strategic competition to positive coordination.
About the Speaker
Su Hao is a distinguished professor in the Department of Diplomacy and founding director of Center for Strategic and Peace Studies at the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU(. He was chairman of Diplomacy Department, director of China’s Foreign Relations Section, general secretary of East Asian Studies Center, and director of Center for Asia-Pacific Studies within this university. He is also affiliated with some institutions in China, such as, president of Beijing Geopolitical Strategy and Development Association, member of Chinese Committee for Council of Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP) and Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC); board members of China Association of Arms Control and Disarmament, Pacific Society of China, China Association of Asian-African Development Exchange, and China Association of China-ASEAN. He received his B.A. in history and M. A. in international history from Beijing Normal University and Ph. D. in international relations from China Foreign Affairs University. He took his advanced study in the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 1993-1995; and was a Fulbright scholar in Institute of War and Peace Studies of Columbia University, and in Institute of East Asia of University of California at Berkeley in 2001-2002; and a guest professor in Department of Peace and Conflict Studies of Uppsala University in Sweden in 2004, Faculty of Society and Design of Bond University in Australia in 2014, Department of Politics of LUISS University in Italy in 2015, Department of Politics and Economics of Aoyama Gakuin University in Japan in 2017 and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) of Nanyang Technological University in Singapore in 2019. His specialties are diplomatic history of China, China’s foreign and security policy, strategic studies, international relations in the Asia-Pacific region and East Asian integration.