Preserving the Long Peace in Asia

An Asia Society Policy Institute Report

Amid the rapid change and uncertainty of the 21st century, a key question facing Asia's leaders is whether the region will be able to maintain the unprecedented economic growth and relative peace it has enjoyed for the past 70 years. Given growing concerns about a rising China, a dangerous North Korea, and a potentially less engaged United States, it cannot be assumed that the answer to this question will be yes. The Asia-Pacific region faces an important inflection point. Increasing GDP levels, widespread poverty reduction, and growing trade integration have created optimism for the region's future, giving states every incentive to avoid conflict. And yet, history has proven that economic integration will not always prove sufficient to prevent this outcome.

In light of this uncertainty, the Asia Society Policy Institute convened an Independent Commission on Regional Security Architecture, chaired by ASPI President Kevin Rudd, to explore the enhanced role that regional institutions could play in maintaining peace and stability in Asia. This report by the Commission argues that Asia’s regional security architecture and its supporting regional institutions play a central role in building trust, reducing strategic disagreements, and promoting commonly accepted norms, protocols, and procedures to manage disputes and disagreements. "Preserving the Long Peace in Asia: The Institutional Building Blocks of Long-Term Regional Security" outlines some of the challenges and gaps facing existing regional security institutions, puts forth a roadmap to strengthen important organizations such as the East Asia Summit, and provides a series of immediate steps members states could take to build a stronger foundation for multilateral cooperation in the future.

ASPI is launching the report at an event in New York on September 11, 2017 and in Washington D.C. on October 2, 2017. Additional events throughout Asia will be announced shortly.

Executive Summary

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Full Report

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Commission Members

Kevin Rudd (Chair), President of the Asia Society Policy Institute and 26th Prime Minister of Australia
Thomas E. Donilon, former National Security Advisor to U.S. President Barack Obama
Igor S. Ivanov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation
Yoriko Kawaguchi, former Minister for Foreign Affairs and of the Environment of Japan
Kim Sung-hwan, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Republic of Korea
Shivshankar Menon, former National Security Advisor to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
Marty Natalegawa, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia
Wang Jisi, President of the Institute of International and Strategic Studies at Peking University

Project Director

Lindsey Ford, Director of Political-Security Affairs and Richard Holbrooke Fellow at the Asia Society Policy Institute

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Related Initiative

  • ASPI initiative, led by a high-level Policy Commission, to strengthen regional security institutions in Asia.