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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Growing significance of Asia Pacific in international politics

The writer discusses the significance of the Asia Pacific region. The area is responsible for contributing to global economics and is an important field for global powers to exercise international politics through various conflicts and alliances.

The Asia Pacific is part of the world located in the western Pacific Ocean. It includes regions of East Asia, South Asia, South East Asia and region of Oceania. It also consists of some areas of the North Atlantic, for example, Russia and the countries in America which lies on the bank of the Eastern Pacific Ocean, for instance, states like Mexico, the USA, Canada, Chile and Peru etc.

Moreover, countries of Oceania like New Zealand and Australia are also located in the Asia Pacific. This area includes a number of states; some of them are the USA, China, Russia, Japan, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Taiwan and Pakistan.

Important organizations like ASEAN, SAARC, Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, Economic Cooperation Organization and Asia Development Bank etc are some political and economic intergovernmental organizations based in the Asia Pacific region.

Read more: How can improving ties with ASEAN help Pakistan?

Home to the largest population

The Asia Pacific region plays an important role in the politics of international affairs because of a number of reasons. It is home to almost half of the world’s population as some huge states in terms of the population exist in this region. India and China have a combined population of 2.8 billion and both states are situated in the Asia Pacific. Similarly, the members of ASEAN countries have also approximately a population of 622 million people.

This region has strategically and militarily significance since states like the US, China, India, Pakistan, Japan and North Korea are located in the area. Moreover, it has economic importance as well because major economic powers which are the US, China, Australia, India, Singapore and Taiwan also situated here. These states in the Asia Pacific play important role in the global economy and contribute almost 39 per cent to the world economy.

Read more: China set to defeat US as worlds best economy

Some famous and economically important ports also exist here which are important economic spots. For instance, the port of Shanghai is located in this region which provides almost 600 million tons of goods to the world.

Strategic significance

Along with these economic significances, the China and US economic rivalry is majorly based in the region of Asia pacific. The South China Sea and the Indian ocean have great importance to both China and the US.

Both have major economic ambitions in these areas so the tension between the two states is also on high here. Such economic tension and conflict are some of the hot topics in current international politics.

Read more: US-China Rivalry impacting India & Japan Asymmetrically

Similarly, if we look to this region through the lenses of the US and India strategic partnership, this region contributes a lot to international politics. For instance, the US views India as a rising power to contain China.

The US has made a strategic alliance with India in the region and both states have conducted a series of high-level agreements in this regard. For instance, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreements, Communication Compatibility and Security Agreement 2018, Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA), and the latest Defence Agreement 2020 are some high profile strategic and military agreements between the USA and India for countering the increased influence of China in the region.

Read more: US and India sign BECA, putting Pakistan in a vulnerable position

The US is the major global power and India is one of the major powers in Asia, so the nexus of such important actors in Asia pacific has significant impacts on regional as well as global politics.

Major economic contributors in the region

On the industrial side, Asia Pacific contributes about 43 billion dollars to the shipbuilding industry and shares almost 66 per cent in the world economic market. Similarly, if we consider it through the purely political point of view, the three members of the United Nations Security Council, the US, China and Russia are located in this region which gives tremendous importance to this region.

Some of the biggest cities which are not only populated cities in the world but also have great economic significance are also located in the Asia Pacific, for example, Mumbai, Karachi, Dhaka, Tokyo, New York, Shanghai, Beijing, Bangkok and Los Angeles etc.

The presence of such economic and political actors has significant implication on the political economy of the international system.

Read more: History’s largest shipbuilding order: from Qatar to a Chinese Company

A playing field for the US

This region is significantly important for international politics and it can be noticed from the US intentions as it has special intentions and long term ambitions to play its role in the region.

The former US president Obama was known as the first pacific president because he not only launched a policy of Asia Pacific, the pivot of Asia but declared that the world order will be shaped by the politics of Asia Pacific and the US has to play its role in it.

Read more: New World Order: Reasons why China will rise & US will fall

The current US administration has also a special focus on the region as it has not only economic but military presence in the region as well. Similarly, the rise of China as a strong economic power and the US policies to contain it also adds huge significance to the region.

China is a communist state and it is highly increasing its economic growth. The US acknowledges it as a threat to its hegemonic status and tends to counter its economic development and to contain its influence.

In these regards, as mentioned earlier it not only engaged India but other actors like Japan and Australia etc as well for the very purpose. Therefore, the region of Asia Pacific is extremely important as both have healthy activities in this region which enable the region to play its significant role in international politics.

Read more: Biden urges ‘free and open’ Pacific in China counter

Regional conflicts

Moreover, there are several conflicts and issues in the region which have a great influence on international politics. Apart from conflicts in the South China Sea, issues between China and Taiwan, Japan and Russia, China and Japan India and China border disputes have their own importance in international politics.

Historical issues between Pakistan and India over Kashmir have witnessed a great impact on international politics. Both states are nuclear powers and have major status in South Asia. United Nations even released several resolutions on the said issue between the two states.

Similarly, the Afghanistan peace process also occurs in this region which is one of the hottest and discussed topics in international politics.

Read more: Afghanistan: 40 years of conflict

The writer is doing his master in International Relations and has wide experience of writings for national and international newspapers. He can be reached at barkatullahbarakaat@gmail.com.The views expressed in the article are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.