13 March 2018
The idea of the Asia Pacific is as old as World War II. The tides of nationalist awakening connected the Indian anti-colonial movements, along with a handful of Arab nationalists, to Southeast Asia, China and Japan.
Initially, the anti-colonial solidarity that joined newly decolonised states and non-state independence movements was expressed through ‘Pan-Asianism’, the Asian Relations Conference and the Bandung (Asian-African) Conference. The onset of the Cold War rapidly compelled all the decolonised states of Asia to define their political identities and security alignments more clearly.
This momentum led to the Asia Pacific as we know it. Washington’s containment strategy against communism drove the United States to initiate the Central Treaty Organization and the Southeast Asia Treaty Organization (SEATO). Both groupings contained Pakistan, the United Kingdom and the United States — a sort of Indo-Pacific alignment.
… Alan Chong is Associate Professor in the Centre for Multilateralism Studies and Shang-Su Wu is Research Fellow in the Military Studies Programme at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
CMS / GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 14/03/2018