Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China Won't Map the Future

Author(s): Rory Medcalf

Current Affairs

What we call a part of the world - Asia, Europe, the Middle East - seems innocuous. But the name of a region is totemic- a mental map that guides the decisions of leaders and the story of international order, war and peace. In recent years, the label 'Indo-Pacific' has suddenly gained wide use, including among the leaders of the United States, India, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, France and others. But what does it really mean?

The Indo-Pacific is both a place and an idea. It is the region central to global prosperity and security. It is also a metaphor for collective action. If diplomacy fails, it will be the theatre of the first general war since 1945. But if its future can be secured, the Indo-Pacific will flourish as a shared space, the centre of gravity in a connected world.

Written by a recognised expert and regional policy insider, Contest for the Indo-Pacific is the definitive guide to tensions in the region. It weaves together history, geopolitics, cartography, military strategy, economics, games and propaganda to address a vital question- how can China's dominance be prevented without war?


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“How does the world balance China’s emergence as a global superpower? What are the risks ahead? How do nation states dilute China’s hegemony and avoid capitulation to its interests? These and other pressing questions are examined in Rory Medcalf’s elegant and absorbing Contest for the Indo-Pacific. First used in the mid-19th century, the term Indo-Pacific is making a comeback in government circles, the geographically inclusive language seen as a bulwark against Chinese aspiration. Currently the region, spreading across East Africa to West Asia, is a strategic puzzle as countries jostle for power and position. Medcalf, an academic and former diplomat, argues that the so-called Indo-Pacific’s middle players—Japan, Australia, Indonesia, India—could collectively hold China’s power in check. By mid-21st century, the combined economic and defence capabilities of these middle powers will match China’s, and while cooperation and coordination would not be easy, such an alliance could bring substantial benefits. Contest for the Indo-Pacific provides a nuanced and subtle assessment of emerging power struggles in the region, with a strong focus on China. Optimistic, yet realistic about the possibilities of war and conflict, this is an essential guide for anyone—politician, policy specialist or informed citizen—interested in the future of the region.” 

Chris Saliba – Books and Publishing   (JC BookGrocer)

General Fields

  • : 9781760641573
  • : Schwartz Publishing Pty, Limited
  • : La Trobe University Press
  • : 0.47
  • : February 2020
  • : 2.9 Centimeters X 15.4 Centimeters X 23.2 Centimeters
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 288
  • : 327.5
  • : 1
  • : Paperback
  • : Rory Medcalf