The Challenge to ASEAN Centrality Under Indo-Pacific Strategy

Part of the Research Series on the Chinese Dream and China’s Development Path book series (RSCDCDP)


With the rapid economic development of the western Pacific and Indian Ocean region, especially China and India’s rapid rise, the western Pacific and Indian Ocean are getting important in the position in world politics and world economy. Indo-Pacific strategy mainly proposed and promoted by the United States, Japan, India and Australia, India, is gradually taking shape. The proposal and implementation of the strategic concept of “Indo-pacific”, it is the dividend that some countries pay to share the rapid economic development of the Indo-pacific region,but the main purpose of the strategy is to curb the rapid rise of China. ASEAN, which had played a central role in the Asia-pacific region, could be an important pillar of the Indo-Pacific strategy, but there is a contradiction between the aim of Indo-Pacific strategy to deter China and the purpose and the principles of the ASEAN, the Indo-Pacific group does not see ASEAN as an important pillar. But given the role of ASEAN in Indo-Pacific strategy, Indo-Pacific strategy group has embraced parts of Southeast Asia, considering the ASEAN region as an important part of the strategic vision of India. The Indo-Pacific strategy seeks to contain China beyond the “ASEAN Centrality” regional cooperation and dialogue mechanism: on the one hand, it is bound to aggravate regional tensions and weaken the “ASEAN Centrality” in the regional mechanism-construction, on the other hand, it will lead to differences within ASEAN and increase intra-ASEAN conflict.


Indo-Pacific strategy The “central position” of ASEAN Geopolitics Internal divergence in ASEAN 


  1. Ankit, Panda. 2017. “U.S. Japan, India, and Australia Hold Working—Level Quadrilateral Meeting on Regional Cooperation”. The Diplomat, 13 November 2017.
  2. Bishop, Hon Julie. 2018. “Minister for Foreign Affairs, ASEAN: The Nexus of the Indo-Pacific”. Asia Society Speech, New York, 8 March 2018.
  3. Brewster, David. 2016. India’s Ocean: The Story of India’s Bid for Regional Leadership. Trans. Du Youkang, and Mao Yue, China Social Sciences Press, pp. 228–252.Google Scholar
  4. Caballero-Anthony, Mely. 2014. “Understanding ASEAN’s Centrality: Bases and Prospects in an Evolving Region-al Architecture”. The Pacific Review, 27(4), 563–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chacko, Priya. 2012. “Priya Three Countries, on Centre of Gravity”. The Hindu, 12 December 2012.
  6. Chitriya, Pinthong. 2015. “The Evolving Regional Architecture for the Asia-Pacific: Toward an Indo-Pacific Idea”. RJSH, 2(1), 20.Google Scholar
  7. Evan, Laksmana. 2018. “An Indo-Pacific Construct with ‘Indonesian Characteristics’”, 6 February 2018.
  8. Hillary, Clinton. 2010. “Remarks on Regional Architecture in Asia: Principles and Priorities”. Hawaii, 12 January 2010.
  9. Hsu, Kristy. 2015. “ASEAN Centrality: A Quest for Leadership Role in East Asian Economic Integration”. Asian Leadership in Policy and Governance, 69–105, 28 August 2015. Scholar
  10. Huisken, Ron. 2002. Civilizing the Anarchical Society: Multilateral Security Processes in the Asia-Pacific. Contemporary Southeast Asia, 24(2), 187–202.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Lin, Minwang. 2018. “The Construction of ‘Indo-Pacific’ and the Tension in the Geopolitics in Asia”. Foreign Affairs Review (1).Google Scholar
  12. Liu, Zongyi. 2014. Conflict or Cooperation: The Geo-political and Geo-economic Options in the Indo-Pacific Region. Indian Ocean Economic and Political Review (4):6.Google Scholar
  13. Lu, Jianren. 2016. “On ASEAN’s Important Strategic Position in the Asia Pacific Region”. Frontiers (10).Google Scholar
  14. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. 2015. “Japan-ASEAN Friendship and Cooperation: Shared Vision, Shared Identity, Shared Future”, p. 5. 2 April 2015.
  15. Prakash, Panneerselvam. 2016. “Advancing India’s Relationship with Japan and South Korea: Quest for Middle Power Cooperation”. IPCS Issue Brief 262, August 2016.Google Scholar
  16. Qi, Huaigao. 2011. “Some Ideas about the Leadership Model for Regional Cooperation in the East Asia: The Leadership Model of the China-US-Japan Cooperation under the ASEAN Mechanism”. Southeast Asian Studies (4):55–59.Google Scholar
  17. Shi, Tianyi. 2016. “Regional Risks and the Offsetting Strategy of ASEAN Countries”, World Economics and Politics (5).Google Scholar
  18. Storey, Ian, and Malcolm Cook. 2017. “The Trump Administration and Southeast Asia: Enhanced Engagement”. Yusof Ishak Institute, No. 87.Google Scholar
  19. Stubbs, Richard. 2014. “ASEAN’s Leadership in East Asian Region-Building: Strength in Weakness. The Pacific Review, 27(4), 523–541.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sun, Xianpu. 2017. “India-Japan Defense Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific Context”, Theoretical Horizon (3).Google Scholar
  21. Wang, Mingguo. 2013a. “The Complexity of International Regimes and East Asia Integration Process”. The Journal of Contemporary Asia-Pacific Studies (1).Google Scholar
  22. Wang, Yuzhu. 2013b. “The RCEP Initiative and ASEAN’s ‘Central Position’”. International Studies (5):53.Google Scholar
  23. Wang, Mingguo. 2014. “Validity Assessment of the Governance Mechanism in East Asia Region and Future Development”, The Journal of Contemporary Asia-Pacific Studies (4).Google Scholar
  24. Wei, Zongyou. 2013. The US’s Strategic Adjustment in the Indo-Pacific Region and the Impact of Its Geopolitical Strategy. World Economics and Politics (10):154.Google Scholar
  25. Wei, Hong. 2015. “ASEAN’s Security View and Security Cooperation Mechanism in Southeast Asia Region”. The Journal of Central China Normal University (Humanities and Social Sciences Edition) (6).Google Scholar
  26. Wu, Zhaoli. 2014. “Origin of the Indo-Pacific Strategy and Multi-nation Strategic Playing”. Pacific Journal (1).Google Scholar
  27. Wu, Minwen. 2017. “What about the Prospect of Trump’s ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’”, China Youth Daily, p. 11. 16 November 2017.Google Scholar
  28. Zhang, Yanjie. 2008. “An Attempted Study about the Big Power Factor in the US’s Policy Regarding Southeast Asia since the World War II”. 2008 Master Thesis of Jinan University, p. 18.Google Scholar
  29. Zhang, Bowei. 2010. “Wen Qiping: Historical Transition of ASEAN’s Status: A Study from the Perspective of Regional Economic Integration”. Asia-pacific Economic Review (5):9.Google Scholar
  30. Zhang, Li. 2013. The ‘Indo-Pacific’ Strategic Plan’s Impact on the Multilateral Landscape in the Asia-Pacific Region. South Asian Studies Quarterly (4):7.Google Scholar
  31. Zhang, Yunling. 2017a. “The 50 Years’ History of ASEAN: Exploration and Advancing in Marching Forward”. World Economics and Politics (7):27.Google Scholar
  32. Zhang, Yunling. 2017b. “The 50 Years’ History of ASEAN: Exploration and Advancing in Marching Forward”. World Economics and Politics (7):32.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Social Sciences Academic Press and Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liu Wu
    • 1
  1. 1.Research Institute for Indian Ocean Economies (RIIO)Yunnan University of Finance and EconomicsKunmingChina

Personalised recommendations