Geopolitics, Militarisation and Risk - A New Case for Confidence Building Measures in the Indo-Pacific


27/11/2023 - 28/11/2023

Bild Workshop Geopolitics Indo-Paciifc November 2023
Bild Workshop Geopolitics Indo-Paciifc November 2023

  • Military application of emerging and disruptive technologies is taking place in various hotspots from the Korean Peninsula to the South China Sea, and beyond in the Indo-Pacific. This comes on top of rising defence budgets, rapid military modernisation, and procurement of game-changing capabilities that threaten the regional balance of power, increasing fear and instability.  

    What kind of approaches, initiatives or instruments such as arms control, transparency mechanisms or enhanced CBMs would be needed to mitigate conflict risks to the extent possible? What role can regional security institutions and regional small and middle powers play in this regard?  

    Based on a mapping of simmering conflicts in the region and a discussion of these topics undertaken in a first GIGA workshop in April 2023 at national level, voices of the Indo-Pacific region from think tanks, academia, and government are now invited to share their insights and explore ideas. GIGA and the EU funded "Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia (ESIWA)" Project, as co-organisers, bring together expert individuals (researchers and government officials) from the region and Europe with expertise on the Indo-Pacific in a two half-day workshop that aims to take stock of challenges and approaches, and to exchange ideas on possible CBMs and their application through political and security institutions.

    The workshop was held under Chatham house rule to allow for an informal and open debate. Workshop results are summarised in a final report. Several experts prepared working papers for the workshop which can be found below, as well as the workshop agenda and participants list.


    Prof. Dr. Patrick Köllner (GIGA), Erik Kurzweil (German FFO) and Sarah Sutter (ESIWA) provided opening remarks. Other speakers are listed in the agenda.


    Members and Fellows of Think tanks, research institutions and government experts from various countries of the region and Europe participated in in the discussion, chaired and moderated the various panels (see full participants list).


    The workshop was undertaken in cooperation with ESIWA (Enhancing Security Cooperation in and with Asia), an EU Project implemented jointly by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Expertise France, and funded by the European Union with contributions from the German Federal Foreign Office and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. For further information about the project, click here.

    Final Report

    Agenda and Participants List


    Wolfgang Rudischhauser

    Former Diplomat in Residence and Fellow


    GIGA Berlin Büro, Friedrichstraße 206, 10969 Berlin, and online



    By invitation

    GIGA Focus Asia | 6/2023

    The Indo-Pacific: Confidence-Building in Times of Growing Conflict Potential

    Growing geopolitical rivalries, military modernisation, and related developments could lead to the escalation of simmering conflicts in the Indo-Pacific. Regional powers and actors should enhance existing Confidence-Building Measures to increase stability. Europe should assist them.

    Wolfgang Rudischhauser

    Former Diplomat in Residence and Fellow

    GIGA Focus Asia | 4/2023

    Rediscovering the Pacific: Possibilities of German Cooperation

    The Pacific Islands region is increasingly on Germany’s foreign policy radar. This Focus examines the challenges faced by this world region, takes stock of extant ties with Germany, and discusses possible future key areas of cooperation here.


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