This edition of ISIS Focus expounds on the themes and issues covered during the 35th Asia-Pacific Roundtable (APR), convened by ISIS Malaysia from 5-7 July 2022. The roundtable’s theme “Sustaining Cooperation Amid Competition” reflected the strategic situation of the region, which remained gripped by major power rivalry that was pervasive across multiple spectrums. The strategic wiggle space for smaller nations, especially in Southeast Asia, continued to come under increasing pressure.
The theme was also an affirmation of the growing importance of climate and sustainability related challenges within the region. Many of these impending risks are not just limited to socio-economic spheres, but will also impact on existing strategic security challenges and equations, adding to their complexity. It is not surprising, then, that the Asia-Pacific region has led the call for comprehensive and effective climate action.
Among the issues covered in this publication are an assessment of China’s Dual Circulation Strategy, a reorientation of Asia’s biggest economy, focusing on domestic demand for long-term growth as the environment for international trade becomes less supportive. This includes the prospective national and regional implications of the strategy, and the challenges brought about by black-swan events, such as the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, and China’s zero-Covid approach.
The editors of ISIS Focus remain ever grateful to all contributors and readers for your support. We wish you a productive and meaningful reading.
Assessing China’s Dual Circulation Strategy
By Angeline Tan and Sofea Azahar
Asean should seize Indo-Pacific initiative
By Zarina Zainuddin
Challenges abound in EU’s digital tilt towards Asia
By Farlina Said
Nuke disarmament, non-proliferation need reset
By Izzah Ibrahim
Mini–lateralism having its ‘moment’
By Calvin Khoe
Quad, share your bounty with Asean students
By Yanitha Meena
Australia with Asean every step of the way
By Dr Justin Lee