'Indo-Pacific' is an increasingly recognised term in the analysis of Asian strategic issues. Of course, there’s debate about what it means and the extent to which such a super-sized region can be a meaningful frame of reference for policymaking. And its subregions of North Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia still have their own geopolitical dynamics.

But it is clear that the Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean regions are becoming linked in economic and ultimately security terms, and much of this stems from the rise of China and India as trading nations and as powers with expanding interests.

Here at the Lowy Institute and on The Interpreter, some of us have consciously sought to contribute to this way of seeing Asia and Australia’s strategic environment. Much of the work of the Institute’s International Security Program, in particular, has an Indo-Pacific footprint. So starting today, the program’s research staff will present a weekly selection of useful new research links, illuminating the changing security picture in this vast region.

The subjects will range from developments within particular countries or subregions (which still matter in their own right) to aspects of the wider Indo-Pacific strategic picture, notably the US rebalance, regional trends in military capabilities, India-China relations, maritime tensions, diplomatic initiatives, the role of nuclear weapons and the way economic and societal developments affect the balance of power.

And so to begin: