Dr. Kin Phea, Director-General of the International Relations Institute of Cambodia (IRIC) shared his views on Indo-Pacific Strategy and China’s BRI. He said that ASEAN member states do not want to be in a situation that requires a choice between the United States and China or between the Indo-Pacific Strategy and BRI.
“ASEAN member states aspire to see these two prominent initiatives play complementary roles as mechanisms for development, prosperity, peace, stability, harmony and inclusiveness within the region and globally by leaving no one behind,” he said at the International Relations Policy Forum on ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy and Small States’ Diplomacy’ organised by the Royal Academy of Cambodia (RAC) and the Konrad Adenauer Foundation in Cambodia (KAS) on via video conference in November 2021.
Dr, Kin Phea said the Indo-Pacific regional order is under stress, facing volatility and uncertainty as the region undergoes a power shift from a US-centric regional order to one driven by multiple actors including China, India, Japan, Russia, Australia, South Korea and ASEAN.
“The Indo-Pacific is a complex region in which state and non-state actors interact dynamically, and all states, regardless of size or power, have a role to play. Regional issues are becoming increasingly interconnected and complicated. In terms of comprehensive power, no country appears to be able to establish a regional hegemon,” he added.
He said that the relative decline or even retreat of the US, especially under President Donald Trump and the rise of the rest, especially China and India, will lead to a new regional order that will be shaped by multiple state actors.
Dr. Kin Phea pointed out that China’s BRI and the US-led Indo-Pacific Strategy present as two competing global forces.
“In response, Asia’s countries and regional groupings have developed their own strategies and outlooks on the Indo-Pacific to accommodate these two competing visions,” he added.
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