The New Battle for the Pacific: How the West is Losing the South Pacific to China, the UAE, and Just About Everyone Else


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When: Oct 3 2013 - 2:00pm until Oct 3 2013 - 3:30pm
Where: East-West Center in Washington 1819 L Street, NW, Washington DC, Sixth Floor

The New Battle for the Pacific: How the West is Losing the South Pacific to China, the UAE, and Just About Everyone Else

An Asia-Pacific Security Seminar featuring:

Ms. Cleo Paskal

Associate Fellow, Energy, Environment and Resources, Chatham House, London
  Adjunct Faculty, Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University, India

Ms. Cleo Paskal presented her insight into the new players and waning Western influence among island nations of the South Pacific in her talk at the East-West Center in Washington.

The South Pacific is usually considered as being, literally, at the edge of the map. However, as the world pivots to the Asia-Pacific, the South Pacific region's true geopolitical, strategic and economic value is coming to the fore. In transit terms alone, as U.S. Pacific Command Commander Admiral Samuel Locklear said in the Cook Islands in 2012: "Five trillion dollars of commerce rides on the (Asia-Pacific) sea lanes each year, and you people are sitting right in the middle of it."

Far from being small island states, the Pacific Island Countries are showing themselves as large ocean states, with vast fisheries, potential seabed resources, and increasingly important geostrategic positioning - as the range of military bases dotted throughout the region can attest. However, just as the region is showing its importance, Western influence is waning. When the larger Western powers pulled out of the region following the end of the Cold War (the United Kingdom, for example, closed three South Pacific High Commissions in 2006), they turned to Australia and New Zealand to "manage" the area for the West.

In her presentation at the East-West Center in Washington, Ms. Cleo Paskal discussed how and why this happened and what the options for the West in this new battle for the Pacific.


Ms. Cleo Paskal is an Associate Fellow in the Energy, Environment and Resources department at Chatham House, London, as well as Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Geopolitics, Manipal University, India. She has consulted for, or briefed, a wide range of stakeholders including: the U.S. Army War College, National Defense College (India), Royal College of Defense Studies, U.S. Department of Energy, UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the German Foreign Office, EU, the heads of major corporations, and security professionals from over 30 countries. Her book Global Warring: How Environmental, Economic, and Political Crises Will Redraw the World Map (Macmillan, 2010) won multiple awards. Her most recent book is the bestselling Spielball Erde (Random House, 2012), co-authored with German TV anchorman Claus Kleber.  


Primary Contact Info:
Name: Damien Tomkins
Phone: 202-327-9754