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date: 15 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Realism’s confidence in predicting future conflictual power transitions in Asia between the United States and China underestimates the robustness of an emerging regional architecture. Rather than a single overarching institution, a fluid network of bilaterals, trilaterals, and other plurilateral configurations creates a dynamic structure in Asia that can strengthen the less powerful, place constraints on the more powerful, and define standards of behavior and best practises. This complex “patchwork” of geometry does not exclude China, nor is it premised on US decline. It is inclusive of all powers in Asia, and therefore is a useful tool in muting regional security dilemmas.

Keywords: architecture, alliances, network theory, security dilemma, East Asia Summit, ASEAN, South Asia tsunami, Trilateral Cooperation Secretariat, Six-Party Talks

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