Britain’s Indo-Pacific ‘tilt’: regional responses to China

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7 September 2022 at 12:00 13:00 BST

The Indo-Pacific region is one area where geopolitical competition between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States (US) – the globe’s two foremost powers – will play out in the next decade. Both are players in the region, which is also home to many of their vital economic partners, as well as allies. International hotspots such as the Taiwan Strait and South China Sea reside here.

The United Kingdom’s ‘tilt’ to the Indo-Pacific is an acknowledgement of the future importance of the region and the need to cement Britain’s place in it as an economic and military actor. In realising this ‘tilt’, an important aspect will be understanding how the region responds to the PRC’s rise as an economic power and assertive foreign policy actor, so that Her Majesty’s Government can successfully engage in the region without stoking regional tensions.

Reaction to the PRC continues to be somewhat mixed. The PRC’s deep pockets and disregard for human rights concerns are attractive for many states in the region. A loss of confidence in the liberal-democratic-capitalist model, most profoundly felt after the 2008 Great Financial Crisis may also play a role. Nonetheless, the PRC’s rising assertiveness and infringement of international law and human rights worries many, who also see the stance of powers in the region – notably Australia, the US, India and Japan – towards the PRC hardening. Many ‘swing states’ – such as Indonesia – are yet to align with free and open countries. This is true also of many in the South Pacific, which are becoming more receptive to cooperation with Beijing.

The Council on Geostrategy invites you to attend a panel discussion looking at Britain’s Indo-Pacific ‘tilt’ and the responses of nations within that region to the rising economic power and assertiveness of the PRC. By kind invitation of host Baroness Neville-Jones DCMG, Member of the Joint National Security Strategy Committee, House of Lords, the panel will include Rowan Callick OBE, author, journalist and Industry Fellow at Griffith University’s Asia Institute, and Charles Parton OBE, an Associate Fellow at the Council on Geostrategy.


Rowan Callick OBE

  • Author, journalist, and Industry Fellow at Griffith University’s Asia Institute
    Rowan Callick is an Industry Fellow at Griffith University’s Asia Institute. He worked for The Australian Financial Review and The Australian as both the China Correspondent and Asia-Pacific Editor, and was a senior writer for Times magazine. He is an advisory board member of the Australian government’s National Foundation for Australia-China Relations. He received his OBE in 2015, on the recommendation of Papua New Guinea, for services in training journalists there. He has written three books published in English and Chinese, most recently: The Party Forever: Inside Modern China’s Communist Elite (Palgrave Macmillan). He has been a member of the advisory councils of Australian Foreign (Liberal) and Aid (Labor) ministers.

Charles Parton OBE

  • Associate fellow at the Council on Geostrategy
    Charles Parton was a long-serving career diplomat, spending 22 out of his 37 year career working in or on China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. In his final posting he was seconded to the European Union’s Delegation in Beijing as First Counsellor until late 2016. In 2017, he was chosen as the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee’s Special Adviser on China.  He is currently a fellow at the Council on Geostrategy, as well as at Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and Mercator Institute for China Studies (MERICS).


Baroness Neville-Jones DCMG

  • Member of the Joint National Security Strategy Committee, House of Lords
    The Rt. Hon. Baroness Neville Jones DCMG is a member of the House of Lords. She has a long career in national security and is presently a member of the Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy in the Houses of Parliament. She was Prime Minister David Cameron’s National Security Adviser in Opposition becoming Minister for Security and Counter-Terrorism and a member of National Security Council for two years from 2010-2011. Prior to her parliamentary career, Baroness Neville Jones worked in foreign affairs having been a member of the British Diplomatic Service from 1963 to 1991.


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