India-New Zealand track two dialogue: geopolitical trends in the Asia Pacific including maritime security

15 Nov 2014

Geo-political trends point to the decline of the Post - Cold War order in the Asia Pacific region.


For several decades Asia Pacific geopolitics has been dominated by the strategic primacy of the United States. That is changing. New economic and strategic power centres are emerging. China is well on the way to major power status which it feels justifies a major say in the shape of a new geopolitical order in the Asia Pacific. India is emerging as a major economic centre and military power intent on growing its relations in East Asia.

China is not yet able to claim superpower status for itself. It is making a significant investment in its military, but American military power still far exceeds that of any other country and US defence expenditure is more than the combined total defence expenditures of the next dozen or so countries with significant defence budgets. And China is yet to demonstrate the ability to form international coalitions to respond to security threats.

Nevertheless, China’s rising military and economic power and assertive political leadership have injected a complex dynamic into the region’s geopolitics. According to the latest IMF figures China’s economy when measured by purchasing power parity has surpassed that of the United States unseating the latter as the world’s largest economy, a position it had held for 142 years. India has moved into third place.

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