regional security complex
This paper reviews the main players in the Indo-Pacific region, and compares the forces which are shaping the East Asia and Indo-Pacific regions. First, I review the three main theories of regions, regionalism, regionalization and American Imperium. Regionalism regards common identities and ideas as the driver shaping regions, such as the EU. Regionalization theorizes that the international operations of multilateral companies are what unintentionally form a region. While the American Imperium theory argues that it is U.S. hegemony which shapes the European and East Asia regions. While these three theories explain the main players of the East Asia region to some extent, they cannot be applied to the Indo-Pacific region. It has no common idea, only shallow economic interdependence, and declining American hegemony. Based on my analysis, I argue the Indo-Pacific region is a regional security complex, which means “a set of states whose major security perceptions and concerns are so interlinked that their national security problems cannot reasonably be analyzed or resolved in isolation from one another.” Second, I analyze the Indo-Pacific policy of the U.S., Japan, India and China. Each country has different regional policies for the Indo-Pacific region in terms of their ideas, priorities, and recognition. The U.S., Japan, and India, all refer to the region as the Indo-Pacific, but their agendas are different. China continues to use the term Asia-Pacific, instead of IndoPacific. But all these countries play the great game on the same board of the Indo-Pacific.