Is the Indo-Pacific eclipsing Asia-Pacific?

Thailand and the smaller states in its neighbourhood will miss the Asia-Pacific era. It is not as if the Asia-Pacific has gone away or disappeared in any sense. But its role as a cradle of prosperity linking larger and small economies around the Pacific Rim may have passed its peak. In its place is the Indo-Pacific, which thus far lacks a trade-liberalisation and economic growth component so integral to the Asia-Pacific.

If Asia-Pacific was all about prosperity, the Indo-Pacific is shaping up to be mostly about security. This paradigmatic shift from prosperity to security reflects the broader geopolitical contest and geoeconomic tensions that are taking place within and beyond Southeast Asia.

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Thitinan Pongsudhirak