The Future of the “Pacific Zone of Peace”
Weekly Newsletters

The Future of the “Pacific Zone of Peace”



12 April 2024

This week at APLN, Sandra Tarte argues in favour of prioritising Fiji’s “Pacific Zone of Peace” policy as a response to great power competition, and we share information on our two upcoming webinars on nuclear justice and nuclear use in Northeast Asia. 

As always, we share recent activities from our network, including analysis on the Biden-Kishida meeting, US-China chip competition, India’s foreign policy, and more. 

Advancing Regional Stability in an Era of Geopolitical Competition and Tension: The Role of Fiji

In this Special Report, Sandra Tarte highlights Fiji’s role as a major player in the Pacific Islands and argues that Fiji’s “Pacific Zone of Peace” concept is crucial in promoting peace and security in the context of the United States and China’s great power rivalry.

Tarte points to the “Zone of Peace” as an opportunity to advance Pacific Island-led regionalism. She urges the Fiji government to prioritise the concept in its foreign policy by including it in the 2024 Fiji defence and security review.

Read the Special Report

Nuclear risks are rising at an alarming rate. Nations active in Northeast Asia, four of which possess nuclear weapons, are pursuing nuclear expansion programs and becoming increasingly reliant on coercive military signalling, leading to an environment ripe for nuclear conflict. 

Join us on April 23 from 09:00-10:30 KST for the launch of our new report, What Should Be Done? Practical Policies to Prevent Nuclear Catastrophe, written by Van Jackson. The online-only event will include a presentation of the report’s findings, a recap of APLN’s project on Nuclear Weapon Use Risk Reduction, and a discussion on how to pursue an effective, pragmatic, and holistic policymaking approach to avoid nuclear conflict.

Register for the event

Related Publications

What Should Be Done? Practical Policies to Prevent Nuclear Catastrophe

In this third-year report for our nuclear use case project, Van Jackson identifies key areas of vulnerability in Northeast Asia’s security architecture and offers practical policy recommendations for avoiding nuclear war, aimed at the governments of Japan, South Korea, the United States, China, and North Korea. The study reveals that nuclear and conventional military decision-making interacted to compound risks of nuclear use, which always involves one or more of the following factors: 

  • Miscommunication and poor communication. 
  • Misperception, both of enemy actions and enemy intentions. 
  • Overconfidence in the ability to coerce the enemy with military force. 
  • Insensitivity to the decision pressures of political and military leaders. 

Humanitarian Impacts of Nuclear Weapons Use in Northeast Asia: Implications for Reducing Nuclear Risk

The second year report simulated and analysed five cases of potential nuclear use in the region and examined their humanitarian impact. The study provided estimates of fatalities and health effects resulting from nuclear detonations, including thermal fluence, firestorms, blast overpressure, prompt or immediate radiation exposure, radiation exposure from fallout, and cancer deaths caused by biological radiation.

Possible Nuclear Use Cases in Northeast Asia: Implications for Reducing Nuclear Risk

In the first year of the project, thirty hypothetical scenarios of nuclear weapons use were developed for the period between 2025 and 2030. These scenarios focused on conflicts in Northeast Asia involving the DPRK, the United States, China, Russia, and non-state actors. 

The concept of nuclear justice has long existed in communities affected by nuclear weapons, yet its realisation remains elusive. This webinar will explore policy priorities and recommendations that can bring us closer to realising nuclear justice, especially concerning victim assistance and environmental remediation.

Join APLN and BASIC’s Emerging Voices Network (EVN) for this discussion on Wednesday, April 17th at 10am BST / 6pm KST.

Register for the event

APLN has over 150 members from 22 countries in the Asia-Pacific.
Each week we feature their latest contributions
to global and regional security debates.

See all member activities




What Biden-Kishida Meeting Means for Korean Peninsula

Eunjung Lim, Associate Professor of the Division of International Studies at Kongju National University (KNU), is interviewed by Arirang News, where she shares her thoughts on Prime Minister Kishida’s state visit to the United States.

The Nuclear Umbrella and the Afterlife

Cheong Wook-sik, Director of the Hankyoreh Institute of Peace, points out that when it comes to deterrence against North Korea, there is a need to draw a distinction between “abilities” and “feelings”. Skepticism surrounding the reliability of US extended deterrence may exacerbate feelings of insecurity and dependence, hindering South Korea’s ability to pursue diplomatic solutions.

AI Chips for China Face Additional US Restrictions

Rajeswari Pillai Rajagopalan, Director of the Centre for Security, Strategy & Technology (CSST) at the Observer Research Foundation, New Delhi, argues that it is unlikely the US will slow down or relax on these export control curbs, as long as the great power competition persists and China continues to utilize these advanced technologies to advance the PLA’s combat power.

Amid LAC Stalemate, Defence Ministry-Funded Think Tank Hosts Chinese Scholars, Discusses Ways to Rebuild Trust

Chen Dongxiao, President of the Shanghai Institutes of International Studies, led a delegation to visit the Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, a defense ministry-funded think tank in India. They discussed ways to rebuild trust between India and China amid a stalemate at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

China Took Unilateral Move to Transgress LAC Violating Peace and Tranquility Pacts: Shyam Saran

Shyam Saran, former Indian Foreign Secretary, speaks to ABP Live on the 10 years of the Narendra Modi government and its foreign policy, defence and strategic affairs stance and what the next government in power should do in the face of growing geopolitical challenges.

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