Responding to Indo-Pacific rivalry: Australia, India and middle power coalitions

Conflict management Defence Diplomacy United States of America East Asia China Australia Pacific Area

In this Analysis, Lowy Institute International Security Program Director Rory Medcalf and Nonresident Fellow C. Raja Mohan argue that Chinese assertiveness and uncertainties about America’s role in Indo-Pacific Asia are causing middle powers to look for alternative approaches to regional security. The Analysis argues that enhanced security cooperation between Indo-Pacific middle powers should be extended to the creation of “middle-power coalitions” in the region.

Key findings

  • China’s assertiveness and uncertainties about America’s response are causing middle powers in Indo-Pacific Asia to looking beyond traditional approaches to security
  • Cooperation between Indo-Pacific middle power coalitions would build regional resilience against the vagaries of US-China relations
  • India and Australia are well placed to form the core of middle power coalition building
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