Home > Free Essays > Politics & Government > International Relations > The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity
Cite this

The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity Essay


Introduction: How the problem could have happened

The relations between Australia and Vietnam start to develop today according to the principles of the strategic cooperation. However, there is a significant controversy in courses of the Communist party leaders in the country1. The pro-Western politicians focus on the necessity to unite the political forces while facing the threat of strengthening China in the Indo-Pacific region. The pro-Chinese leaders indicate the need of concentrating on the Communist course in the region2. It is important to note that the relations between Australia and Vietnam have been stabilised only recently because the political controversies in Vietnam were discussed as threatening the order in the region during a long period of time3. The Vietnam War and the participation of Australia in it as the ally of the United States in 1965-1972 had significant consequences for the security of Australia and affected the contemporary state’s defence policy4.

Therefore, modern drivers of threat and possible opportunities in the region related to Australia should be discussed in the context of the modern Vietnamese political contests and with references to the Vietnam War’s outcomes5. Although the recent political struggle of the pro-Western and pro-Chinese members of the Communist party in Vietnam can influence Australia only indirectly, the impact of such instability in the region can affect the Australian security policies considerably. The influential factors include the intensified conflicting ideologies’ opposition, the active migration and economic crises, the threat of new conflicts, the dependence on the large powers, the protection of the Western pattern of politics, and the possibility to develop relations with both Eastern and Western countries.

Why the threat is important for Australia

The main questions to answer are what connections are between the Vietnam War and the modern internal political contests in Vietnam and how this context can influence the development of the security strategy in Australia. The problem is in the fact that Australia is one of the unique middle powers in the region that relies on the Western political patterns and aims to develop the close relations with such nations as the United States and the United Kingdom. From this point, relying on the support of the United States in the 1960s, Australia should have demonstrated its support for the large Western political power in contrast to the power of the Soviet Union6. Thus, Australia sent her troops to support the Western ideology and the US Army in Vietnam while opposing the spread of the Communist visions in the region.

In this context, the political controversies in Vietnam led to separating the nation into two camps of supporters of the United States and the Soviet Union. Moreover, these debates had the destabilising effect on the region’s development. Today, the Communist party is the primary power in the country, but the domination of the pro-Western or the pro-Chinese parts of the party in the country can influence two different courses of actions7. According to Vu, the threat of intensifying the impact of the pro-Chinese leaders can result in not only political and economic but also cultural consequences because the Communist ideology can further spread in the region in association with supporting the Chinese course8. As a result, it is important for Australia to use the opportunity to prevent the spread of the pro-Chinese economic vision and the Communist ideology in the Indo-Pacific region.

The intensified conflicting ideologies’ opposition

From this point, the first major driver that can modify the Australian security policy is the spread of the pro-Chinese visions not only in Vietnam but also in other states of the region. The danger is in the negative effects on the economic relations of Australia within the region. Australia responded to the threat while initiating the active support of the US policies and ideas in the Indo-Pacific region9. McDougall states that the Australian government follows the point of view that the reliance on the US forces can protect the isolated Western state in the Asian region from the destructive impact of the modern economic coalition of China and Russia10. The security policy of Australia can also be discussed as shaped according to the US patterns because of the necessity to promote the political and economic ideals of the capitalist society. From the social perspective, the security policies of Australia are oriented to developing new migration policies that are less restricted in relation to the Asian population, as it was earlier, because of following the Western pattern11. More attention is also paid to creating the agreements to support the technology component in security policies with countries that try to oppose the rise of China in the Indo-Pacific region.

The active migration and economic crises

The second driver of danger and insecurity is the active migration of the Vietnamese in Australia and the possible economic crisis. During the Vietnam War and after it, many Vietnamese migrated from the country to Australia, and today the similar situation can be expected because the Vietnamese society began to become divided into two camps of supporters of different courses12. The risk is also in the fact that migrants can contribute to the spread of the non-western ideology in Australia. In addition to the political and security aspects, there is also an economic concern because Australia is not prepared to the large flows of migrants, and the experience of the 1970s-1980s influenced the Australian current policy regarding the immigration to support the security programs in the state13. Today, Australia actively supports only the migration of the Vietnamese students studying in the country in order to facilitate the cultural relations between states and contribute to the technological development in the sphere of education14. While comparing the Australian policy regarding the migration after the Vietnam War and today, it is possible to state that the state authorities paid more attention to protecting the borders of the isolated country in the 20th century. During that period of time, the risks of military conflicts and destabilising situations in the region were higher than today.

The threat of new conflicts

The final driver of danger that influences the distribution of powers in the Indo-Pacific region is the threat of new military conflicts. The military way of resolving the opposition of two conflicting ideologies was followed not only in case of Vietnam but also in Korea and Indonesia in the 20th century. As a result, the atmosphere of the military threat developed in the 1960s-1970s influenced the development of the Australian defence policies during the long decades. The reason was in the necessity to prepare for the further possible use of the Australian troops in other political conflicts15. This driver of danger is influential even today in the context of the expected changes in the leadership in Vietnam.

The development of the opposition between China and such countries as Japan, India, Vietnam, and Australia can be discussed as a new factor that can drive the opposition between such large powers as Russia and the United States that are as influential in the region today as it was in the 1960s-1970s16. According to Reilly, this opposition can cause the start of the new military conflict. From the economic perspective, Australia develops trade and investment relations with Vietnam and other Asian countries to oppose China17. Therefore, any changes in the Vietnamese political and economic courses can affect the Australian policies18. While focusing on the social aspect, it is possible to state that Australia continues developing social programs in cooperation with Indo-Pacific countries to increase security.

The dependence on the large powers

However, there are also decisions and impacts that can be discussed as drivers of possibilities or factors increasing the opportunity for Australia in the region. The main positive driver for Australia is associated with the state’s dependence on such large power as the United States. Australia was the main ally of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region in the 1960s, and the participation of the large power in the Vietnam War meant the involvement of Australia in the military conflict19. Nevertheless, the advantages of supporting the large power are also significant even today because Australia needs the stable support of the influential Western state to develop its security policy and foreign relations. Much attention is paid to enhancing the economic and social relationship between Australia and the United States20. The cooperation of these two countries led to improving the Australian position in the region, and today Vietnam also refers to the Australian support in developing partnership and profitable relations in the global arena.

The protection of the Western pattern of politics

The danger can be reduced with the focus on the active protection of the Western pattern of politics in Australia. During decades, Australia remained focused on following the Western pattern of developing its political and security courses. Therefore, the threat of destabilising situation in the region was only from the Asian and Indo-Pacific nations. While being involved in the Vietnam War, Australia had the opportunity to seek the support of other Western countries and implement the security policy similar to those ones followed in other countries21.

The situation was positive also from the economic and social perspectives because Australia developed the trade relations with such allies of the United States as the United Kingdom and France. This driver also constrains danger in relation to the Australian security and stability if the Vietnamese leadership follows the pro-Western course22. The different scenario can result in losing many economic and social contacts that Australia has developed in the Indo-Pacific region. From this point, effective security and strategic policies of Australia should address such a kind of threat. In this context, the state should focus more on the Western support to oppose possible changes in the distribution of the impact in the Indo-Pacific region.

The possibility to develop relations with both Eastern and Western countries

On the other hand, the possibility of Australia to develop relations with both Eastern and Western countries is the unique strength of the country that was developed during the period of the Vietnam War. This feature remains to be the driver of the opportunity today in order to promote the security balance in the state and region. This position is contributing from both political and economic perspectives because Australia receives the opportunity to develop the cooperation with the partners of the United States in the Indo-Pacific region23. Australia can guarantee its security while collaborating with those Eastern countries that are strategic partners of the United States in order to acquire more allies in the region24.

In this context, the focus is on the pro-Western leaders of the Vietnamese Communist party. Today, the course of Australia is also related to the building of positive relations with both Eastern and Western states because of the state’s orientation to develop peacefully in the region where the Asian nations play the key strategic roles25. In terms of the social role of this driver, Australia is one of those nations that are rather diverse, and this diversity is associated with both advantages and disadvantages for the country’s progress. The current political situation in Vietnam cannot be discussed as stabilising the political moods in the region because the further security course of Australia depends on the possible changes in the leadership of Vietnam.

Conclusion

The political contests in Vietnam are a great destructive force in the context of the peace of the whole Indo-Pacific region. The Vietnam War influenced the development of the security danger for Australia in the 20th century, and the situation can be repeated today. Many factors can both enhance and constrain the impact of the political situation in Vietnam on Australia. Thus, the development of the conflict between the United States and China can become a threat for starting new economic and military conflicts in the region. However, the deepened relations of Australia with the United States influence the overall defence course of the country considerably. In the contemporary Indo-Pacific region, Australia is discussed as the middle nation that needs the support of such large nations as the United States, and the modern security policy depends on the lessons of the Vietnam War related to the spread of ideologies, migration, and the use of arms and agreements to resolve the conflicts.

Bibliography

Borja, Anthony Lawrence. “Elite Competition and Economic Reform in Cuba and Vietnam: A Comparative Study of Policy Legitimation.” Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 14, no. 2 (2014): 1-21.

Buzan, Barry. “Security Architecture in Asia: The Interplay of Regional and Global Levels.” The Pacific Review 16, no. 2 (2003): 143-173.

Buzan, Barry, and Lene Hansen. The Evolution of International Security Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009.

Buzan, Barry, and Ole Waever. Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003.

Buzan, Barry, and Yongjin Zhang. Contesting International Society in East Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Edwards, Peter Fullarton. Australia and the Vietnam War. Canberra: New South, 2014.

He, Baogang. “Collaborative and Conflictive Trilateralism: Perspectives from Australia, China, and America.” Asian Survey 54, no. 2 (2014): 247-272.

Knight, Nick, and Michael Heazle. Understanding Australia’s Neighbours: An Introduction to East and Southeast Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011.

Mark, Craig. “Transformations in Security Relations between the USA, Japan and Australia.” Journal of Law and Social Sciences 2, no. 1 (2014): 1-19.

Mascitelli, Bruno, and Barry O’Mahony. “Australia in the Asian Century – A Critique of the White Paper.” Australasian Journal of Regional Studies 20, no. 3 (2014): 540-562.

McDougall, Derek. East Asia Forum. Web.

McDougall, Derek, and Peter Shearman. Australian Security After 9/11: New and Old Agendas. London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006.

Millar, Tom. “The Debate on Australian Security.” Australian Studies 7, no. 8 (2015): 1-12.

Phan, Chanh Cong. The Diplomat. Web.

“Power Shifts in Vietnam’s Political System.” The Establishment Post. Web.

Quang, Doan Thi. “Vietnamese Foreign Policy and the South China Sea Disputes.” East Sea Disputes 2, no. 3 (2014): 81-90.

Reilly, James. “Counting On China? Australia’s Strategic Response to Economic Interdependence.” The Chinese Journal of International Politics 12, no. 2 (2012): 1-16.

Thayer, Carlyle. Vietnamese Diplomacy, 1975-2015: From Member of the Socialist Camp to Proactive International Integration. Binh Duong: Thu Dau Mot University, 2015.

Tow, William, and Chin Kin Wah. ASEAN-India-Australia: Towards Closer Engagement in a New Asia. Canberra: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009.

Vu, Truong-Minh. . The Diplomat. Web.

Footnotes

  1. “Power Shifts in Vietnam’s Political System,” The Establishment Post, Web.
  2. Chanh Cong Phan, “Vietnam after 2016: Who Will Lead?” The Diplomat, Web.
  3. Barry Buzan, “Security Architecture in Asia: The Interplay of Regional and Global Levels,” The Pacific Review 16, no. 2 (2003): 145.
  4. Peter Fullarton Edwards, Australia and the Vietnam War (Canberra: New South, 2014), 12.
  5. Barry Buzan and Lene Hansen, The Evolution of International Security Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), 12.
  6. William Tow and Chin Kin Wah, ASEAN-India-Australia: Towards Closer Engagement in a New Asia (Canberra: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2009), 23.
  7. “Power Shifts in Vietnam’s Political System,” The Establishment Post, Web.
  8. Truong-Minh Vu, “2015 Challenges for the Communist Party of Vietnam”, The Diplomat, Web.
  9. Nick Knight and Michael Heazle, Understanding Australia’s Neighbours: An Introduction to East and Southeast Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011), 22.
  10. Derek McDougall, “Regional Strategic Context Improves Australia–Vietnam Relations,” East Asia Forum, Web.
  11. Truong-Minh Vu, “2015 Challenges for the Communist Party of Vietnam”, The Diplomat, Web.
  12. Anthony Lawrence Borja, “Elite Competition and Economic Reform in Cuba and Vietnam: A Comparative Study of Policy Legitimation,” Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 14, no. 2 (2014): 3.
  13. Baogang He, “Collaborative and Conflictive Trilateralism: Perspectives from Australia, China, and America,” Asian Survey 54, no. 2 (2014): 249.
  14. Derek McDougall and Peter Shearman, Australian Security After 9/11: New and Old Agendas (London: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2006), 54.
  15. Barry Buzan and Yongjin Zhang, Contesting International Society in East Asia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), 29.
  16. Carlyle Thayer, Vietnamese Diplomacy, 1975-2015: From Member of the Socialist Camp to Proactive International Integration (Binh Duong: Thu Dau Mot University, 2015), 8.
  17. James Reilly, “Counting On China? Australia’s Strategic Response to Economic Interdependence,” The Chinese Journal of International Politics 12, no. 2 (2012): 2.
  18. Chanh Cong Phan, “Vietnam after 2016: Who Will Lead?” The Diplomat, Web.
  19. Tom Millar, “The Debate on Australian Security,” Australian Studies 7, no. 8 (2015): 4.
  20. Barry Buzan and Ole Waever, Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), 24.
  21. Craig Mark, “Transformations in Security Relations between the USA, Japan and Australia,” Journal of Law and Social Sciences 2, no. 1 (2014): 5.
  22. Anthony Lawrence Borja, “Elite Competition and Economic Reform in Cuba and Vietnam: A Comparative Study of Policy Legitimation,” Asia-Pacific Social Science Review 14, no. 2 (2014): 3.
  23. Bruno Mascitelli and Barry O’Mahony, “Australia in the Asian Century – A Critique of the White Paper,” Australasian Journal of Regional Studies 20, no. 3 (2014): 542.
  24. Barry Buzan, “Security Architecture in Asia: The Interplay of Regional and Global Levels,” The Pacific Review 16, no. 2 (2003): 144.
  25. Doan Thi Quang, “Vietnamese Foreign Policy and the South China Sea Disputes,” East Sea Disputes 2, no. 3 (2014): 82.
This essay on The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar
Writer online avatar

301 certified writers online

GET WRITING HELP
Cite This paper

Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2020, May 17). The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-indo-pacific-region-drivers-of-danger-and-opportunity/

Work Cited

"The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity." IvyPanda, 17 May 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/the-indo-pacific-region-drivers-of-danger-and-opportunity/.

1. IvyPanda. "The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity." May 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-indo-pacific-region-drivers-of-danger-and-opportunity/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity." May 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-indo-pacific-region-drivers-of-danger-and-opportunity/.

References

IvyPanda. 2020. "The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity." May 17, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/the-indo-pacific-region-drivers-of-danger-and-opportunity/.

References

IvyPanda. (2020) 'The Indo-Pacific Region: Drivers of Danger and Opportunity'. 17 May.

More related papers