Panelists began the conversation by discussing the gap between economic and security policies. Regional tensions and conflict in the Asia-Pacific region are underpinned largely by outdated political structures operating within 21st century economic policies. The panelists agreed that no engagement about the Asia-Pacific region can proceed without a discussion on China and the cornerstone of the New Pacific Order remains with the US-China relationship. Panelists discussed the increased, unspoken relationship building that is happening between the US and China in part because of China’s “New Model of Great Power Relations.”
The discussion about China focused primarily on the interest-based relationships that have been developing in recent years and the need to shift the priorities to values-based priorities. Using European history and the development of other dynamic regional structures as examples, panelists suggested that Asia-Pacific nations would benefit from additional regional organizations focused on other matters beyond economic growth and development.