Constituting the Indo-Pacific: Securitisation and the Processes of Region-Making
In recent years, securitisation discourses related to regional constructs in Asia have galvanised a shift from the Asia-Paciﬁc to the Indo-Paciﬁc. China’s rise, particularly the perceived asser-tiveness and counter-normative nature of its foreign policy, have promoted a growing discourse of enmity, unease and fear, thus facilitating its securitisation by key global and regional actors. Through their promotion of securitisation discourses, political and military leaders in the United States, Japan, India and Australia are demonstrating two interrelated dynamics that reveal the political process of region-making: (1) how securitisation discourse not only exposes the threat perception of individual states, but also the role they see for themselves and others in the manage-ment of these threats; and (2) how these securitisation discourses galvanise regional formation and transformation based on shared threat perceptions and modes of threat management. Con-sequently, the meta-geographical transformation of the Asia-Pacific into the Indo-Pacific is predicated on a political process underpinned by securitisation discourses centred on China. This process has signiﬁcant implications for regional order as well as security dynamics, particularly because the construction of the Indo-Paciﬁc region by these pivotal actors results in the remaking of the region that situates China and the South China Sea at its centre, thus framing it as the target of containment. Furthermore, the concept of the Indo-Paciﬁc merges the separate strategic spaces of the Paciﬁc and Indian Oceans as a cohesive strategic space, wherein India and smaller Southeast Asian states are also included in securitisation discourses related to China.
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