Cooperation Event

Asia and the Indo-Pacific – The Theatre of Growing Conflicts in the 21st Century?

Changing Geopolitics, Risks and Possible Mitigating Confidence Building Measures (CBM’s)



GIGA_Pazifik_December2022_USA-Indonesia-military-exercise_Imago_0197249747_Zuma Wire

  • As the “Economist” points out: “Well before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, doubts were growing in Asia about the durability of the American-led order that has largely kept the peace since the Vietnam war.” (The Economist, 19 May 2022) Will the Indo-Pacific become the theatre of the first (superpower) conflict in the 21st century? Could the multiple simmering conflicts within particular sub-regions escalate and spill into a broader regional war? What are the risks in view of changing geopolitics in the region and what institutions or Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) (on soft and hard security) are needed to mitigate the risks? Much research has been undertaken already in the past years (and decades) on the risks of escalating conflicts in South-Asia, and East-Asia respectively, in particular between India and Pakistan, on the Korean peninsula, and across the Taiwan strait. Yet, more research as well as exchange across sub-regional and thematic expertise is needed. Doing so provides for a more comprehensive approach needed to take into account changing national security perceptions and doctrines, military and technological advancements, as well as growing regional and geopolitical confrontation. To do so, GIGA has set out to convene an expert workshop in partnership with DGAP and the Federal Foreign Office. The workshop invites selected individuals with expertise on the Indo-Pacific and related security issues to take stock of challenges and approaches. The workshop will start with a mapping of the various simmering conflicts in the region, assess the risks of escalation, as well as the opportunities and limits to resolve or mitigating these risks. It will then look at the existing fora and mechanisms in Asia and the Indo-Pacific such as ASEAN, ARF, SCO, NAPCI, BIMSTEC, IORA etc. and the multiple bilateral, multilateral or minilateral initiatives between the countries of the region and assess their respective ability and willingness to address and develop (or enhance existing) CBMs, that could be built upon, to make the region more secure in the longer run. It will end with a definition of next steps in view of involving the voices of the region in the debate.


    GIGA Berlin Office, Friedrichstraße 206 (Entrance Zimmerstraße), 10969 Berlin, and online

    By invitation


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