The Indo-Pacific is a strategic system encompassing the Indian and Pacific oceans, reflecting the expanding interests and reach of China and India as well as the enduring role of the US. The Lowy Institute's International Security program presents a weekly selection of links illuminating the changing security picture in this increasingly connected super-region.

  • As the region waits to see if the US will follow through on its much rumoured freedom of navigation patrols near Chinese-occupied islands in the South China Sea, Washington has taken a pretty tough stance on the UK's 'shift to China'.
  • Euan Graham has argued that the patrols may give China an excuse to militarise the islands.
  • Australia has ruled out any potential role in the patrols but will Japan join the US?
  • Meanwhile the US and Japan took part in a naval parade this week in Tokyo Harbor which occurs every three years. Thirty-six naval vessels attended, including the USS Ronald Reagan and the JS Izumo.
  • A US delegation paid a visit to China's new aircraft carrier yesterday as part of ongoing military-to-military exchanges.
  • An interesting piece in the Financial Times on the TPP 'countermeasures' that China may be deploying.
  • President Jokowi will make his first visit to the US beginning 25 October. This Brookings analysis gives a good overview of the bilateral relationship going into the visit.
  • A piece from Andrew Erickson on Xi Jinping's impact on the development of the PLA.
  • Also an excellent overview of the growing naval competition between the US and China in the West Pacific from The Economist.
  • Lastly, Pakistan's Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry gave a rare official explanation for Pakistan's continuing development of tactical nuclear weapons: 

'Pakistan’s “low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons” would make it difficult for India to launch a war against Pakistan while remaining under the nuclear threshold.'