17th Asian Security Conference

The shift of power to Asia in the 21st century with its imminent economic rise has amplified the security challenges that the continent faces in the larger rubric of international relations. Key concerns include major power rivalries, tensions over disputed territories, freedom of Sea Lanes of Communications (SLOCs), security dilemmas connected to military modernization, the robustness of regional institutional mechanisms, intra-state conflicts and last but not the least, the perspectives of major actors like Russia, China and India on Asian regional order: whether they view it as purely competitive or cooperative-competitive. Historically, Asia has been an important geographical cusp in the pathway of civilizations. Arabia, the Ottoman Empire, the Mongols, the Chinese empires, India, Ceylon, etc, have played major roles in the fight for territory, resources and the spread of ideas and religion. Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Confucianism, Zoroastrianism, etc., have been major religious influences, while mathematics, science, astronomy, the printing press, gun powder, the wheel, etc., draws their origin to Asia. Asian cultures and civilizations have been instrumental in the conceptualization and operationalization of the strategic cultures and military modernizations of other civilizations. The extreme forms of competition that precluded the colonial period, and the meeting of Asia and the West led loose new forces of military modernizations, especially naval technologies with faster ships, and the idea of sea dominance. The colonial period was critical for the formation of an Asian idea of difference as most of the countries were either colonized or suffered from deep seated anxieties due to their contact with the West, memories that continue to shape ideas and foreign policies to this day.More [+]

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