The Asia Pacific, a region generally recognized for its economic dynamism and geo-strategic importance, contains many on-going and potential conflicts, both at the inter-state and intra-state levels. Instead of yielding peace dividends, the end of the Cold War has brought to the surface traditional rivalries between regional powers, and intensified age-old boundary and territorial disputes. Increasing competition for resources has further complicated the sometime volatile relations between countries in this region. Many inter-state disputes are maritime in nature, both due to the many still unsettled maritime boundaries as a consequence of the enactment of UNCLOS, and the tendency towards a free-for-all exploitation of maritime resources with little regard for territorial jurisdictions. Mutual suspicions have prevented countries in the Asia Pacific from developing region-wide and over-arching security organizations, even at the sub-regional level. Countries in this region have not managed to go beyond confidence-building measures and preventive diplomacy. Fear of regional hegemony by one or more regional powers is likely to hinder support for the establishment of security-oriented ocean governance, particularly among the weaker countries in the Asia-Pacific region.


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pp. 466-489
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