Major power competition has returned to Asia. China’s regional ambitions are continuing to expand alongside its increasingly sophisticated armed forces. North Korea’s nuclear arsenal has not been eradicated. Japan and Australia are building up their militaries. And the United States, for so long a stabilising presence in the region, is struggling to form a coherent Asia strategy in the face of erratic policy pronouncements by President Donald Trump. From the Korean Peninsula and Taiwan to the South and East China Seas, the possibility of catastrophe looms ever closer.

What are the risks of strategic competition in Asia? How might regional flashpoints escalate to conflict? And what can Indo-Pacific countries do to reduce the risk of war?

Brendan Taylor, author of new book The Four Flashpoints and Associate Professor of Strategic Studies at the Australian National University, joined Alliance 21 Fellow Madelyn Creedon and Ashley Townshend, the Centre’s Director of Foreign Policy and Defence, for a discussion of these critical geopolitical questions.

This event was the Sydney launch of Brendan Taylor’s The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War published by La Trobe University Press.