UP CIDS DISCUSSION PAPER 2019-03

Stopping Asia’s ‘Crisis Slide:’
An Australian Perspective on Asia’s Flashpoints

Author : Brendan Taylor

Program : Strategic Studies Program

Abstract : The concern of this discussion paper is understanding the points of conflict that Asia is most likely to face as a region. ‘Flashpoint’ is the central concept of analysis in looking at geographical areas where there is potential for sudden and violent conflict to erupt. This paper is guided by three main questions. First, how likely is a major power war to erupt in Asia today? Second, if conflict erupts, where is it most likely to originate? Third, and most importantly, what can be done to prevent major power conflict breaking out in Asia? It argues that different methods are needed for the management of these flashpoints. Yet while each of the flashpoints are distinct and different, it could also be argued that there must be efforts to try to anticipate how conflict might erupt in Asia, particularly among major powers. A necessity exists to understand the subtle differences and the interconnections between these flashpoints considering the risk for conflict.

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