Speaking Of Asia

Shaping the Indo-Pacific story: Asean's turn

The US and Japan have their own narratives. Amid concern about the China containment sub-text, it's time South-east Asia stepped up to control how the concept develops.

Next week in Jakarta, Indonesia's foreign ministry will play host to a constellation of senior figures from the area once known as the Asia-Pacific to discuss the future of the Indo-Pacific, as the region is increasingly being called at the prodding of the United States and Japan.

On the table, among other issues, is a small yet significant question: Do we call this vast swathe of territory the Indo-Asia-Pacific? Or Asia-Indo-Pacific? Or, leave it as Indo-Pacific?

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2019, with the headline 'Shaping the Indo-Pacific story: Asean's turn'. Print Edition | Subscribe