Asia faces many regional security threats

News: In Asia today, the economy is global, politics are local, and security is local, regional and transnational. Asia is now the epicentre of security risks. More worrying is the international and regional system’s inability to address these issues.

What are the present regional security threats in Asia?

The region is facing 1. Intensified Sino-American tensions, 2. Standoff on the India-China border, 3. The tensions over Taiwan and the South China Sea, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, 5. The uncertain trajectory of Iran’s nuclear programme, 5. The Taliban’s rapid return to power in Afghanistan, 6. Offensive arms acquisitions: Asia now has a belt of nuclear-weapon states stretching from the Mediterranean to the Pacific, from Israel to North Korea. 7. Many members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations seek security from the US while relying economically on China. They are forming local coalitions wherever it is possible, but they avoid choosing between China and the US, 8. Newer transnational risks like cyberattacks, climate change, energy crises and pandemics.

What are the initiatives taken to address the regional security threats in Asia?

China, Pakistan, Russia and the Central Asian countries all expect that home-grown separatists and extremists will find safe haven, weapons and support in the new Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. They collectively reinvigorate counterterrorism cooperation in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

In September, the US hosted the first in-person summit of the Quad (Australia, India, Japan and the US) and unveiled the AUKUS agreement to supply nuclear-attack submarines to Australia.

Response to China’s rise and the shifting balance of power in the Indo-Pacific: To counter China, the Asian countries engage in regional and maritime security, bilateral, trilateral and plurilateral cooperation arrangements and interoperability exercises such as the Malabar naval war games.

What should be done to avert the regional security threats in Asia?

1. Nuclear deterrence should be promoted and keep the peace between the major powers, 2. Strengthen the global governance institutions, 3. Try to establish an effective regional security institution.

The countries in Asia should address regional security issues or pursue multilateral solutions without relying more on nationalism and populism.

Source: This post is based on the article “Asia faces many regional security threats” published in Livemint on 31st Dec 2021.

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