Hoover Institution Press Publishes Asia’s New Geopolitics By Michael R. Auslin: Collection Of Essays Features Timely Analyses Of Currents In The Indo-Pacific Region

Tuesday, June 16, 2020
Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Hoover Institution (Stanford, CA) – The Hoover Institution will publish Asia’s New Geopolitics, a collection of eight timely essays by Michael R. Auslin. These essays examine the key issues and geopolitical forces in the Indo-Pacific, as well as the ambitions by the People’s Republic of China to dominate the world’s most populous and economically productive region.

“My goal in the publication of these essays is to paint a clear picture of the geography and behavior of nation-states in this crucially important part of the world for the benefit of policy leaders and the general public,” Auslin said.

The first essay discusses the maritime geography of Asia’s four inner seas: the Sea of Japan, the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea. Auslin writes that the current geopolitical framework has created the conditions for competition among regional states, as well as between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States.

Auslin explains that, historically, powers who have sought control of the inner seas did so for the goal of attaining hegemony over commercial and political activity in their respective geographic regions. An example of this type of competition was the Anglo-French conflict in the English Channel during the nineteenth century. To explain the bustling nature of Asia’s inner seas, Auslin revives a concept called the “Asiatic Mediterranean,” in which, he argues, a similar type of competition is being played out today.

He maintains that China also views the four seas as an integrated maritime region and has thus deployed a strategy of military expansion and island building in order to control the first and second island chains off of Asia’s east continental coast.

Conversely, Auslin writes, the United States’ historical objective is to ensure, through alliances and partnerships, an Indo-Pacific that remains open and free from domination by any one power.

Auslin also maintains that as a result of its predominance in Asia, China also seeks to become a global power.

“Beijing believes that its economy was the strongest and most innovative in the world up until the coronavirus pandemic that began in Wuhan,” Auslin explains. “PRC leaders are confident in saying that global trade routes, technology transfer, and the like should all be centered around China.”

In an essay entitled “The China Rules,” Auslin writes that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has waged a global campaign of coercion in order to enforce conformity to its political demands and national ambitions. To this end, the CCP has targeted people who hold leadership positions in other countries in an effort to paint a positive picture of China and quash any negative opinions about its behavior.

The final essay of Asia’s New Geopolitics features a scenario, based on real-life events in their increasingly tense relationship, in which the United States and China are plunged into a war.

Other essays feature analyses of significant actors in the Indo-Pacific, including India, Japan, and North Korea, each of which Auslin believes will play an integral role in shaping the future of the region.

Asia's New Geopolitics: Essays on Reshaping the Indo-Pacific is available in hard cover and e-book formats. Click here to purchase.

About the Author

Michael R. Auslin is the inaugural Payson J. Treat Distinguished Research Fellow in Contemporary Asia at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He is the author or editor of six books, including the best-selling The End of the Asian Century: War, Stagnation, and the Risks to the World's Most Dynamic Region.

Acclaim for Asia’s New Geopolitics:

“What emerges from these well-crafted and incisive essays is a much better understanding of competitions critical to preserving peace and promoting prosperity. Michael Auslin identifies the critical factors that will determine whether the future for free and open societies across the Indo-Pacific region remains bright or a darker future emerges in which autocratic and closed systems are ascendant. All who have a stake in that future should read and discuss Asia’s New Geopolitics.” —H. R. McMaster, former US national security advisor and author of Battlegrounds

“Michael Auslin is one of America's sharpest analysts of Asia's geopolitics. This collection brims with insights about the future of the world's most important region.”
—Hal Brands, coauthor of The Lessons of Tragedy: Statecraft and World Order

“An extremely engaging and timely discussion of the US strategy in the Indo-Pacific in the midst of China's growing influence and the diminishing US presence in the region. With insightful analysis of the challenges faced by the United States, Auslin reminds us why we cannot remain a spectator to the reshaping of regional order. A must-read for anyone, let alone experts and policy makers, who is concerned about the future role of the United States in the region.” —Gi-Wook Shin, the William J. Perry Professor of Contemporary Korea and director of the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University

“A work about the geopolitics and policies of Asia written with the depth of a true historian, Auslin’s Asia’s New Geopolitics offers a set of insightful essays about some of the key challenges in this part of the world over the next generation. I found the work engaging as an expert in the field, but also, as a professor, I found it to be an excellent teaching text for my students.” —Victor Cha, vice dean and D.S. Song-KF Professor of Government, School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, and former senior director for Asia, National Security Council.


For coverage opportunities, contact Jeffrey Marschner, 202-760-3187, jmarsch [at] stanford.edu.