GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Big Power Relations Under the Framework of IOR-ARC
Paper Proposal Text :
The Indian Ocean Rim – Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) has been highlighted in recent years by the Indian Ocean region’s growing in strategic and economic importance and the impetus from the participation of the Middle Eastern countries. Many global and regional powers, including the U.S., China, Iran, Australia and India, are involved in this association as members or dialogue partners, which expands the influence of the association on the one hand, and stands in the way of the integration of the region under the framework of IOR-ARC due to complex contradiction among them on the other. The role of IOR-ARC in diplomacy of different powers are various, from an economic platform for expanding market to a political tool for pursuing regional dominance, without a common strategic focus. Economically, the trade involving member states of the association plays a vital part in global economy currently. The IOR-ARC aggregate the comparative advantages in technology, resources, capital and labor of member states with different development levels in the area to achieve complementary advantages and promote blue economy. Politically, the stumbled cooperation process after initial general enthusiasm reflects diverging interests inside the association. Due to the rising importance of the region in the world, powers eager to exert influence and protect or obtain interests in this region. The IOR-ARC provides a shared public platform of geopolitics for stakeholders to prevent overlapping interests from causing conflicts or confrontations. From the security perspective, the maritime trade routes in the India Ocean is among the key areas in global economy, while areas where the extremism problems are relative serious — Arabian Peninsula, Somali Peninsula and the Maghreb region — are all locates the India Ocean region. Given such conditions, the security cooperation will become the focus of IOR-ARC in future; however, the cooperation is doomed to be seriously impacted by mistrusts and strategic suspicions among the powers. Overall speaking, in Indian Ocean region, powers cooperate with each other in economics, and be suspicious to each other in politics and security. Economic cooperation is increasingly impacted by political suspicions, in such a case, comprehensive cooperation is difficult to be achieved and strategic mutual trusts among them will be further weakened. In this regard, powers are both driving and dragging force to the association. The IOR-ARC is of great potential as it includes many emerging economics and fastest-growing markets. However, the future development and efficiency of it still depends on the relationships among global and regional powers under its framework.