- Dianne Faye Despi
The heightened importance of maritime security issues, coupled with strategic competition between the major Indo-Pacific powers China and the United States, have turned the extensive maritime domain of Southeast Asia into an arena of great uncertainty. Here, various countries’ civilian and military maritime services navigate, operate, compete, and cooperate.
Complex politico-economic dynamics between the United States, the dominant power, and China, the emerging power, greatly affect the strategic positioning of other nations in the region. However, it is not only China’s thrust to gain operational superiority in the Pacific Ocean using its wide array of maritime agencies that is complicating the security environment; conditions such as the prevalence of transborder terrorist networks, and the geographical characteristic of the Indo-Pacific as the world’s most disaster-prone region, also play a role.