• read the article paying attention to focus words
  • summarise the main ideas, identify the author’s message
  • comment on the ideas expressed by the author
  • compose 3 questions for discussion


redefineпересмотреть, переоценить, переопределить
merge сливаться, соединяться, поглощать
constructконструкция, концепция, образ
overarchingвсеохватывающий; всеобъемлющий
consequential логически вытекающий, важный
protractedзатянувшийся; длительный
emphasizeподчеркивать, акцентировать, выделять
manifestation проявление; обнаружение
relief помощь, пособие, облегчение, снижение
domainобласть, сфера, поле деятельности


  1. the key to
  2. insistence on
  3. approach to
  4. reliance on
  5. integration into
  6. at the height
  7. rival to
  8. foundations for
  9. manifestation of
  10. definition of

Apr 4, 2023

Mohammed Soliman

By redefining and expanding the Asia-Pacific’s geopolitical dimensions, Abe Shinzō, the late Japanese prime minister, offered a geostrategic model that is now being realized across South Asia and the Middle East. With India at the center of this emerging West Asian ecosystem, Abe’s vision has begun to take shape.

WASHINGTON, DC – By building up the notion of the Indo-Pacific as a critical region, Abe Shinzō, the late Japanese prime minister, created a strategic framework that presaged the geopolitical and economic integration now taking place across Asia and parts of Africa. As South Asian and Middle Eastern countries merge into West Asia, a new continental order could reshape the global balance of power.

During his first visit to India as prime minister, in August 2007, Abe delivered his seminal “Confluence of the Two Seas” speech to the Indian Parliament. Abe drew his speech title from a book written by the Mughal prince Dara Shikoh in 1655, which explored the commonalities between Islam and Hinduism as neighboring religious and civilizational constructs. The Pacific and Indian Oceans also share many commonalities, Abe noted. The “dynamic coupling” of these “seas of freedom and of prosperity” would transform not only the Indo-Pacific region but also “broader Asia.” But Abe, who was assassinated last July, had more than just maritime metaphors in mind. His overarching goal was to build the most consequential bilateral relationship in the Indo-Pacific – India and Japan. As one of the first Asian leaders to recognize the global and regional impact of China’s rise, Abe went on a one-man crusade to create a viable new balance of power. By expanding the geopolitical dimensions of the Asia-Pacific region and pushing it westward toward the Indian Ocean, he helped shift the region’s strategic profile. Abe’s 2007 speech highlighted the intellectual vacuum in Washington at the time. While the United States was at the height of its ill-fated “war on terror” and mired in two protracted, costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Abe sought to redefine the Indo-Pacific on Japan’s terms, as a rival to the China-centric “community of common destiny.” For Abe and his successors, fostering cooperation across the Eurasian and African rimlands through extensive networks of defense and trade ties was the key to realizing the vision of a broader Asia. In placing the Indo-Pacific at the heart of this vision, they drew on the insights of the nineteenth-century American admiral Alfred Mahan and the British naval historian Julian Corbett. Mahan and Corbett, the pioneers of modern naval strategy, viewed sea power as an essential source of national strength. The twentieth-century political scientist Nicholas Spykman emphasized the strategic centrality of the Eurasian rimland, in contrast to Halford Mackinder’s insistence on the centrality of the Eurasian heartland. Together, Mahan and Corbett’s writings on sea power and Spykman’s maritime-based approach to geopolitics provided the intellectual foundations for Abe’s broader Asia.

Today, the clearest manifestation of Abe’s Indo-Pacific strategy is the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, better known as the Quad, which began as a humanitarian initiative when the US, Australia, India, and Japan formed a joint relief operation following the deadly tsunami that devastated Indonesia in 2004. After returning to office in 2012, Abe repurposed it as a vehicle for his geopolitical vision. But the Quad was only the beginning. It has been followed by a series of “mini-lateral” institutions, including the AUKUS defense pact between Australia, the US, and the United Kingdom; the US-Australia-Japan Trilateral Strategic Dialogue; trilateral cooperation between Australia, Indonesia, and India; and a joint Italy-Japan-UK fighter jet project. These initiatives, all of which aim to boost security and stability across the Indo-Pacific, reflect the region’s ongoing transformation into a “geography of strategies.” After the Iraq War and Arab Spring pushed Arab states to diversify their alliances and partnerships and decrease their reliance on the US, Asian countries such as China, Japan, India, Indonesia, and South Korea rushed to fill the vacuum. The United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, for example, are India’s third— and fourth-largest trade partners, respectively. Japan has become a trusted regional leader in technology, clean energy, and space exploration. And South Korea is now a major supplier of technology and arms to the Gulf states and Egypt. Deepening defense and trade ties, together with the Gulf states’ growing clout, have accelerated the Middle East’s integration into the Asian economic sphere. While Abe sought to offset China’s rising power by redefining the Asia-Pacific region, strategists and intellectuals (including me) have been trying to establish regional balance of power by expanding the geopolitical definition of the Middle East to include India and other South Asian countries. The Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain, the Negev Forum, the I2U2, and the France-UAE-India trilateral framework all point to a fledgling Indo-Abrahamic alliance between India, Israel, and the Arab states. The introduction of India into the Middle East’s political and economic domain is an extension of the geostrategic model Abe championed in his “Confluence of the Two Seas” speech. With India as the link between the Indo-Pacific and the Indo-Abrahamic countries of West Asia, a continental Asian order is beginning to take shape.

Mohammed Soliman, a global strategy adviser at McLarty Associates, is Director of the Strategic Technologies and Cyber Security Program at the Middle East Institute.


  1. What integration model did Abe Shinzō, the late Japanese prime minister, suggest for  the Indo-Pacific region? What was his overarching goal?
  2. What was the key to realising the vision of a broader Asia for Abe and his successors?
  3. What is the clearest manifestation of Abe’s Indo-Pacific strategy today? What prompted the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue (the Quad)?





redefinefollowing as an effect, result, or outcome; a logical conclusion 
constructlay stress upon; single out as important
overarchingencompassing or overshadowing everything; extensive
consequential a particular environment, a field of action, thought, influence
protractedgive a new or different definition to
emphasizeto combine into a single body
manifestation assistance in time of difficulty
relief a product of thought, concept
mergeextended or lengthened in time; prolonged
domainoutward or visible indication of smth; materialization


redefinesignificant, eventful, considerable 
constructassistance, support, rescue 
overarchingspecify, reidentify
consequential sphere, area, arena, discipline
protractedemphasise, stress, underline, highlight, accentuate
emphasizedisplay, demonstration, expression, indication
manifestation comprehensive, complete, embracing, inclusive
relief combine, blend, mix, fuse
merge an image, idea, theory
domainextended, lengthy, prolonged


redefineof economic inequality/ culture/ mentality
constructrealities/ category/ the role/ the relationship
overarchingpublic/ legal/ security/ integrate
consequential importance/ role/ fact/ aspect
protractedaim/ subject/ approach/ framework
emphasizedisaster/ flood/ provide/ offer
manifestation crisis/ period/ conflict/ talks
relief efforts/ programms/ firms
mergedecision / election / losses / moment
domainfragile/ solid/ theoretical/ social


1. The office also released an updated national AI research and development strategic plan that ………… the government’s desire to spend more taxpayer cash on AI.
2. The economic damage from the banks’ missteps could prove more ………….
3. Teams from the army, navy and state and national ………… forces are helping with the evacuation efforts.
4. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Friday told broadcasters that he was “concerned that private information was put into the public ………….”
5. Currently, cryptocurrency markets have no ………… or centralized regulatory framework, leaving investments in the digital assets space vulnerable to fraud, manipulation and abuse.
6. The firms plan to ………… their UK-based operations, giving them around 27 million customers and making it the biggest mobile network in the UK.
7. Founded in 2007, Politico was among a crop of media upstarts that ………… news for the digital era.
8. Social ………… reflect shared ideas or perceptions that exist only because people in a group or society accept that they do.
9. Social problems, especially housing affordability and homelessness, are ………… of economic inequality and inequities.
10.England’s central bank warned that Britain would enter a ………… recession by the last quarter of the year.


1. reshape a)  cooperation
2. expandb) security and stability
3. shift c) initiative
4. fostering d) the vacuum
5. extensive e) the global balance of power
6. humanitarian f) integration
7. boost g) the geopolitical definition
8. fill h) the geopolitical dimensions
9. accelerated i) networks
10. expandj) the region’s strategic profile


E.g. _____________ overarching goals _____________

Europe faces tensions between short-term energy security needs and its overarching climate goals.

  1. _________ have to redefine the parameters _________
  2. _________ the social construct shape _________
  3. _________ overarching principles of _________
  4. _________ a highly consequential political statement _________
  5. _________ leading to protracted talks _________
  6. _________ emphasized the block’s message _________
  7. _________ are apparently contradictory manifestations of _________
  8. _________ massive relief efforts _________
  9. _________ agreed to merge the programmes _________
  10. _________ seek hegemony in the domain _________


  1. the key __
  2. insistence __
  3. approach __
  4. reliance __
  5. integration __
  6. __ the height
  7. rival __
  8. foundations __
  9. manifestation __
  10. definition __


  1. Some countries …………….. political instability, and the consequences …………. across their borders.
  1. are also faced; are spilling
  2. are also facing; are spilling
  3. also face; are spilt
  4. were also faced; are spilling

2. India …………………………. the indispensable swing vowel in the BRICS acronym.

  1. is always
  2. was always
  3. had always been
  4. has always been

3. The SCO’s foundations …………. in the 1980s, when the Soviet Union and China …………… to navigate tensions over their shared border.

  1. were laid; were attempting
  2. were lain; were attempting
  3. laid; were attempting
  4. were laid; had been attempting

4. The BRIC acronym – …………. by then-Goldman Sachs economist Jim O’Neill in 2001 – ………… by a vision of economic cooperation.

  1. was created; was initially impelled
  2. created; was initially impelled
  3. created; initially impelled
  4. has been created; was initially impelled 

5. If the bloc’s current strategic direction and possible enlargement ………. the country toward the exit, the grouping …………… not just unpronounceable, but also unviable.

  1. push; become
  2. will push; will become
  3. will push; become
  4. push; will become

6. On global issues such as climate change, European governments ……… now find a way to work effectively with a difficult partner.

  1. must
  2. must have
  3. can’t have
  4. ought

7. India is said ………….. a crucial hand in the drafting of the Beijing Declaration’s single reference to the bloc’s enlargement, ……….. deep within the 75-paragraph document.

  1. to have; buried
  2. to had; was buried
  3. to have had; was buried
  4. to have had; buried

8. With the architecture of global governance ………….. , ASEAN members ………….. their voices heard if they ………….. a world that supports their interests.

  1. being challenged; must make; want
  2. being challenged; must have made; will want
  3. being challenged; must make; will want
  4. challenged; must to make; want

9. According to a 2013 European Parliament report, some of the $10 billion invested by Saudi Arabia for “its Wahhabi agenda” in South and Southeast Asia …………. to terrorist groups, including Lashkar-e-Taiba, ………. carried out the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks.

  1. was “diverted”; what
  2. “diverted”; that
  3. was “diverted”; which
  4. was being “diverted”; _____

10. ………… structural issues will remain high on the development agenda, the immediate priority is to finish the basic unfinished work needed to get the CFTA up and running.

  1. Though
  2. If
  3. Yet
  4. However