East Asia Explorer

East Asia Explorer

The East Asia Explorer tracks evolving geopolitical trends, emerging security challenges, and progress towards regional integration in East Asia. It focuses on the ASEAN grouping, domestic and foreign policy developments in countries of East Asia and Oceania, great power contestation in the region, and India’s relations with ASEAN and its member countries.

Jayantika Rao’s brief examines the three-nation tour undertaken by Indonesia's President-elect and current Defense Minister, Prabowo Subianto, to China, Japan, and Malaysia. She stresses that while departing from the convention of visiting ASEAN countries first, Prabowo's primary objective in visiting China and Japan during his first visit abroad was intended to secure domestic legitimacy, while striking a balance between the regional actors in Asia.

Anshita Shukla reviews the second meeting of the Defence Ministers of the US, Japan, Australia, and the Philippines in Hawaii on May 2. She analyses the outcomes and implications of this emerging minilateral, unofficially termed as the ‘Squad’ or the ‘new Quad’. She also highlights the growing convergences between the four countries in the face of the rising unilateral assertions by China in the South China Sea.

Finally, in his brief, Amb. Nanda observes that the regional grouping BIMSTEC has persevered despite the various challenges in the region, like rising food costs, the economic impact of the pandemic and growing tensions between neighbours. Underlining the role of BIMSTEC in promoting connectivity and acting as a bridge between South and Southeast Asia, he also draws attention to the growing geopolitical competition in the Bay of Bengal.

To read this East Asia Explorer, Vol. II, Issue 5, please see the PDF attached.