Takshashila hosts a book discussion with Prof Rory Medcalf on the geopolitics of the Indo-Pacific Region

The Takshashila Institution hosted Prof Rory Medcalf, Head of National Security College at the Australian National University, on 13 June 2020. The event featured a conversation between him and Nitin Pai, Co-founder & Director, The Takshashila Institution, discussing his book: Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China won’t Map The Future.

Prof Medcalf described Indo-Pacific as a regional order which is much more than the binary contest between the two superpowers, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States of America (US). He emphasised on the role of the middle powers like India, Australia, Japan, Indonesia and other ASEAN countries for this region.

The conversation was dominated by the Chinese vision of the region and the role of other countries in balancing against the Chinese coercion. “The PRC has an Indo-Pacific strategy, and it’s known to us as the Maritime Silk Road. It keeps the Indian Ocean at the centre of the things and includes infrastructure, armed forces, diplomacy and many other tools of statecraft in it,” claimed Prof Medcalf. The Chinese representation of the Indo-Pacific region throws the US to the periphery, implying that it’s an extra-regional actor, he adds. 


He was of the opinion that the improving India-Australia relations and the behaviour of the select ASEAN countries, which are standing up to the Chinese coercion, would define the geopolitics of the region in the future.

His book weaves together history, geopolitics, cartography, military strategy, economics, games and propaganda to address a vital question: how can China’s dominance be prevented without war? Grab a copy of ‘Contest for the Indo-Pacific: Why China won’t Map the Future’ at your nearest bookstore or order one online for a fascinating look into the geopolitics of this region.

The Takshashila Institution is an independent and non-partisan think tank and school of public policy. Takshashila offers 12-week certificate courses in Public Policy, Technology and Policy, and Defence and Foreign Affairs and a 48-week postgraduate program in Public Policy.

The stream of the event can be found here: