How to Address Complex Security Challenges : Fostering International Solidarity

Plenary Session2

Seeking Cooperation in Rebuilding Trust within the Indo-Pacific


While the U.S.-China strategic competition is intensifying, the importance of the Indo-Pacific region is also on the rise. In line with this recent change, major powers started to pursue political, economic, and military strategies that would allow then to expand their influence in the Indo-Pacific region.

In an effort to maintain its presence over Asia and to balance against China, the U.S. announced A Free and Open Indo-Pacific: Advancing a Shared Vision in 2018 and recently adopted the Indo-Pacific Strategy in 2022 as a major diplomatic policy. Europe, at the EU level, published a joint communique on EU Strategy for Cooperation in the Indo-Pacific; Japan has materialized its own Indo-Pacific strategy as a new diplomatic strategy since the announcement of the Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy in 2016 under the Abe Administration. The most eye-catching initiative, however, belongs to China. Strengthening its regional presence by providing developing countries with support to build infrastructure as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), China has recently signed a security agreement with the Solomon Islands. This attracted the attention of regional actors, who have come to interpret it as China's effort to expand its influence and military presence beyond the South China Sea and towards the South Pacific.

The Republic of Korea is now facing a critical moment in terms of revisiting its previous reservations to the Indo-Pacific strategy and establishing its own strategy for regional cooperation. During the 2022 ROK-U.S. Summit, President Yoon announced the formulation of Korea's Indo-Pacific framework for the first time in Korean history, attracting global attention to the role of the ROK within the Indo-Pacific region.

This plenary session intends to provide an opportunity to review the recent security environment of the Indo-Pacific region and to analyze challenges that are commonly faced by regional actors. This will enable us to identify common security threats and areas of cooperation with an effort to enhance regional cooperation. It is required to devise a solution to ramp up the level of cooperation for common benefit by enhancing trust, rather than excluding certain countries. This session will look to provide the Republic of Korea with the necessary considerations in establishing an Indo-Pacific strategy that aligns with its national interests. Moreover, this session will discuss ROK's cooperation with the international community to contribute to regional stability.