07 September 2023
Covid-19: implications for the Indo-Pacific
As we approach four years since the first cases of Covid-19 in the Chinese city of Wuhan, the world seems relatively familiar again, albeit an increasingly scary place because of war in Europe, accelerating climate change, and the unhealthy nexus between new technologies and authoritarian coercion by Beijing and others.
Within this ‘polycrisis’, Covid-19 now feels like a secondary concern. But the world remains unprepared for the next pandemic, which the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has warned could come soon and be even more deadly.
This report provides a comprehensive stocktake of the lessons our region should draw from Covid-19 at precisely the time we risk forgetting the pandemic’s significance, not just for health but also for the resilience of our societies, economies and international rules-based trade and security.
This collection of papers by Japanese and Australian academics, journalists and think tankers explores varying aspects of the regional impact of the pandemic, including on trade, foreign affairs and security. The collection includes detailed case studies on Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia, as well as thematic analysis at the regional and multilateral levels.
We hope the compilation is useful for policy makers and decision makers throughout the region, in particular the examination of the systemic links between different forms of crisis preparedness, the sovereign resilience of smaller powers against great power influence, and the effect of Covid-19 in accelerating pre-pandemic regional trends, including mounting challenges to liberal democracy.
This report was produced with funding support from the Japanese Government.