China anxieties in the geopolitical cartographies of the Indo-Pacific

Pan, Chengxin 2016, China anxieties in the geopolitical cartographies of the Indo-Pacific. In Chacko, Priya (ed), New regional geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific : drivers, dynamics and consequences, Routledge, Abingdon, Eng., pp.97-113, doi: 10.4324/9781315677392.

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Title China anxieties in the geopolitical cartographies of the Indo-Pacific
Author(s) Pan, ChengxinORCID iD for Pan, Chengxin
Title of book New regional geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific : drivers, dynamics and consequences
Editor(s) Chacko, Priya
Publication date 2016
Chapter number 6
Total chapters 7
Start page 97
End page 113
Total pages 17
Publisher Routledge
Place of Publication Abingdon, Eng.
Summary Concepts about space and time, such as the Asia-Pacific and the Asian Century, are not articulated lightly in international relations discourses. When a spatial or temporal term comes into vogue, it often comes with political connotations and policy implications. This is the context in which we ought to consider the making of the spatial term Indo-Pacific, which has recently made it into the lexicon of official speeches, think-tank reports, government white papers and scholarly works. While many pundits and practitioners are embracing this new formulation, others cast doubt on its usefulness or even question its actual existence. Yet, despite its sudden stardom in foreign policy circles and some debate around its policy implications, how the Indo-Pacific as a political spatial concept came about has not been well understood.To address this gap, this chapter will first briefly survey the Indo-Pacific debate and examine how the debate has not paid adequate attention to the issue of the Indo-Pacific as a discursive construct. It then turns to how the United States, Australia, Japan, India and China together contribute to the formation of this concept amid ongoing geopolitical anxieties about the shape and trajectory of future Asian regional order. While acknowledging China's role in this constitutive process, I argue that as a discursive construct the Indo-Pacific has been motivated primarily by geopolitical anxieties about a perceived emerging regional order dominated by China. Driven by such anxieties, the concept is not an innocent description of a natural region out there; it has the potential of fuelling regional rivalries and exacerbating security dilemmas. Given its possible destabilising consequences, the chapter concludes with a call for a critical reimagination of this now increasingly accepted term.
ISBN 9781315677392
Language eng
DOI 10.4324/9781315677392
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 160607 International Relations
Socio Economic Objective 940301 Defence and Security Policy
HERDC Research category B1 Book chapter
ERA Research output type B Book chapter
Copyright notice ©2016, Priya Chacko
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