Regional Security in South-East Asia in the Context of American “Indo-Pacific Region” Project

Cover Page

Cite item


The article is devoted to the analysis of the position of the countries of South-East Asia on the construction of security architecture in the region within the framework of the Indo-Pacific region project in the format promoted by the USA. The article examines in detail the factors that determine the attitude of Southeast Asian countries to the American doctrine of “free and open Indo-Pacific”, which they assess as strategically risky and leading to deformation of the existing security system in the region with the loss of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) its central role in ensuring its stability. The response of the Southeast Asian countries to external challenges was the formation of their own concept Asean’s - "Outlook On The Indo-Pacific, which reflects their views on the nature of the relationship within the emerging community. The author analyzes in detail the content of the ASEAN doctrine, which emphasizes the promotion of economic cooperation between the countries of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, in contrast to the geostrategic orientation of the American concept. Three main areas of cooperation are distinguished - maritime cooperation, the development of connectivity and interaction in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Offering such a format for engaging, ASAEN countries proceed from the need to strengthen trust between countries as the most important condition for maintaining peace and order in the region based on the traditional principles of ASEAN. These include: openness, transparency, inclusiveness, rules-based world order anchored on international law, respect for sovereignty, non-interference, equality, mutual trust and respect. ASEAN’s position remains unchanged in maintaining its central role in the evolution of the regional security architecture. Speaking from the position of multirealism, ASEAN sees a way to overcome the conflict of interests in the region in the context of escalating rivalry between the US and China, in creating a synergistic security system based on mechanisms associated with ASEAN. In the ASEAN concept, India-Pacific Region appears as a region of dialogue and cooperation, rather than competition, open to participation of China in the project. The author comes to the conclusion that such format is justified both from the point of view of strategic interests of the countries of Southeast Asia and the whole region, if the relations within it are based on the principles advocated by ASEAN. However, as the author emphasizes, the project proposed by the Southeast Asian countries raises many questions, the main of which is its feasibility in the context of the emerging split of the region along the axis of US-China rivalry for leadership in Asia. Nevertheless, as the author notes, the tendency to strengthen economic cooperation between the countries located in the basin of two oceans creates the basis for the growth of their interest in developing a stable security architecture.

About the authors

Nataliya Grigorievna Rogozhina

Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations

Author for correspondence.

Dr in Political Science, Chied Researcher, Center for Development and Modernization Studies

117997, Russia, Moscow, Profsoyuznaya street, 23


  1. Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, 2019: Preparedness, Partnerships, and Promoting a Networked Region. U.S. Department of Defense, June 1, 2019. P. 3–6. URL: [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  2. Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of The United States of America. Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge. URL: https: // Portals/1/Documents/pubs/2018-National-Defense-Strategy-Summary.pdf. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  3. Streltsov D. Indo-Pacific region as a new reality of the global system of international relations. International life. 2018. № 9. URL: 2076. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  4. Becker P. The “Indo-Pacific”: Redrawing the Map to Counter China. The Cipher Brief, January 12, 2018. URL: https: // -map-counter-china. [Accessed 10.10.2019]. Summary of the 2018 National Defense Strategy of The United States of America. Sharpening the American Military’s Competitive Edge. URL: https: // [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  5. Lee J. The “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” and Implications for ASEAN. Trends in Southeast Asia 2018. (1).
  6. Hoang Thi Ha. ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific: Old Wine in New Bottle? PERSPECTIVE, Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, Issue: June 25 2019. (51).
  7. Bilahari Kausikan. “ASEAN: Agnostic on the Free and Open Indo-Pacific”, The Diplomat, 27 April 2018. URL: https: // -pacific/. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  8. Responses by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Questions from Australian Media, 17 March 2018. URL: 03/australian-media-interview_final.pdf. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019].
  9. Storey Ian. Contending US and Chinese Visions for Regional Order at the Shangri-La Dialogue: A Mixed Reception from Southeast Asia. PERSPECTIVE Singapore YUSOF ISHAK INSTITUTE, 7 August 2019. ISSUE: (59).
  10. Stromseth J. Don’t Make Us Choose: Southeast Asia In The Throes Of Us-China Rivalry. Foreign Policy at Brooking. October 2019.
  11. Rogozhina NG., Rogozhin AA., China’s economic presence in Southeast Asia is a condition for pursuing a policy of “soft power”. World Economy and International Relations, 2019, Volume 63, (4).
  12. Daljit Singh, “Southeast Asia’s Uneasy Position in America’s Indo-Pacific Strategy”. PERSPECTIVE, Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, November 28, 2018, ISSUE: 2018, (76).
  13. Tang Siew Mun, Moe Thuzar, Hoang Thi Ha. The State of Southeast Asia: 2019 Survey Report. The ASEAN Studies Center at ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute. 29 January 2019 URL: [Аccessed: 10.10.2019].
  14. Chong Ja Ian. Still in the driver’s seat or asleep at the wheel? East ASIA Forum QuArterly, January – March 2018, vol. 10, (1).
  15. Tsvetov A. Russia and ASEAN: the search for economic synergy and political like-mindedness. M.: Carnegie Moscow Center. May 2016. URL: 2016/05/19/ru-pub-63618. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  16. Amitav Acharya. Why Asean’s Indo-Pacific Outlook Matters. East Asia Forum. 11.08.2019. URL: utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=newsletter2019-08-11. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  17. Evan A. Laksmana: Why the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific is Defective. September 19, 2019. URL: https: // [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  18. Lynn Kuo. Shangri-La Dialogue: Negotiating the Indo-Pacific security landscape. The Straits Times, June 1, 2018. URL: [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  19. Tan Hui Yee. What comes after Asean’s Indo-Pacific vision is more crucial, say analysts. June 23, 2019. URL: [Аccessed: 10.10. 2019].
  20. Weatherbee D. ASEAN, and the Indo-Pacific Cooperation Concept. PERSPECTIVE Singapore YUSOF ISHAK INSTITUTE. 7 June 2019, Issue (47).
  21. Koldunova EV. Southeast Asia facing the challenges of Indo-Pacific concepts. Southeast Asia: Actual problems of development. 2019, volume 1 (2).
  22. Suryadinata Leo. Indonesia and its Stance on the “Indo-Pacific” PERSPECTIVE Singapore: ISEAS Yusof Ishak Institute, 23 October 2018. Issue № 66.
  23. Retno LP Marsudi Foreign Minister of Indonesia. Time to deepen Indo-Pacific cooperation. Jakarta Post, March 20, 2019. URL: 03/20/insight-time-to-deepen-indo-pacific-cooperation.html. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  24. Nazia Hussain, Tan Ming Hu. The Indo-Pacific: Clarity, Inclusivity and ASEAN Centrality. August 21, 2018. URL: [Аccessed: 10.10.2019].
  25. Tan Hui Yee. Asean agrees on common vision for Indo-Pacific region. The Straits Times, June 24 2019. URL: // [Аccessed: 10.10.2019].
  26. Melissa Conley Tyler. The Indo-Pacific is the New Asia. 28 Jun 2019. URL: (Аccessed: 10.10.2019).
  27. Kliem F. ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific Dilemma: Where To From Here? RSIS COMMENTARY S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, 6 August, 2019.
  28. “Asean Outlook On The Indo-Pacific”. URL: asean-outlook-on-the-indo-pacific/. [Аccessed 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  29. Tan Hui Yee. Asean issues collective vision for Indo-Pacific as it attempts to reclaim geopolitical narrative. The Straits Times., June 23, 2019. URL: reclaim-geopolitical? utm_source = emarsys & utm_medium = email & utm_campaign = ST_Newsletter_AM & utm_term = Asean + issues + collective + vision + for + Indo-Pacific + as + it + attempts + to + reclaim + geopolitical + narrative & utm_content6% 2F 1020.102F019. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019]. (In Russ.).
  30. Phillip Coorey. Scott Morrison. We Won’t Choose’ between US, China. Financial Review, November 16, 2018. URL: https: // -a-turning-point-in-china-ties-20181115-h17y1g. [Аccessed: 10.10.2019].

Copyright (c) 2020 Rogozhina N.G.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

This website uses cookies

You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website.

About Cookies