Reason for Hope in Asia-Pacific

Reason for Hope in Asia-Pacific – Zhang Tuosheng – CHINA US Focus

Oct 31, 2022 – Zhang Tuosheng Academic Committee Member, Center for International Security and Strategy, Tsinghua University

After the end of the Cold War, the trends of globalization, multi-polarization, information technology expansion and peaceful development have been especially obvious in the Asia-Pacific, turning it into the most dynamic region with the greatest potential in the world.

Over the past 20 years, six major positive changes in the regional order have been clearly visible.

1. The purposes and principles of the UN Charter and major international agreements have been well observed and implemented, leading to peace and security in the region as a whole. Although there are still security hot spots, most of them are well under control, and serious military conflict has, for the most part, been avoided.

2. Regional multilateral dialogue and cooperation organizations, rather than military alliances, have been established and have developed rapidly. The Chinese government has been part of around a dozen such organizations. The best-known include the China-ASEAN dialogue and cooperation, APEC, ASEAN+3, the Six-Party Talks, China-Japan-ROK cooperation, the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Forum, ASEAN Defense Ministers’ Meeting Plus, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Xiangshan Forum and others.

3. Countries in the region have developed various partnerships and conducted extensive dialogues and cooperation in the political, economic, military and cultural fields. Relations between major powers in the region are relatively balanced and stable.

4. Many multilateral and bilateral free trade areas have been established, and national economies have become increasingly interdependent.

5. Regional non-traditional security cooperation has been greatly developed.

6. As an emerging power, China has begun to provide public goods to the region. It has, for instance, put forward the Belt and Road Initiative to promote connectivity with countries along the routes. It also established the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank to give a powerful push to infrastructure construction in the region.

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