Undersea Cables and Geopolitics in the Indo-Pacific

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
2:00–3:00 pm HST | 8:00–9:00 pm EDT
Online Event

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Submerged deep beneath the ocean, networks of undersea cables form the critical infrastructure that enables the communication and connectivity upon which societies are built. Over 95 percent of global Internet traffic relies on these cables, and they transmit approximately $10 trillion in financial transactions data throughout the global economy daily. The Indo-Pacific has been the most active region for cable construction in recent years, and these networks have also been drawn into the dynamics of US-China strategic competition. Why is undersea cable competition intensifying in the Indo-Pacific? How are threats to undersea cable networks evolving, and what are the implications for regional resilience and economic development? Why do perspectives differ across countries and across the public and private sectors, and how does this impact the prospects for future conflict and cooperation? In this webinar, Motohiro Tsuchiya (Keio University), Amanda H.A. Watson (Australian National University), and Kristi Govella (University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa) addressed these questions and shared findings from a recent project that was organized by the UH Mānoa Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs in partnership with Keio University and Khalifa University with support from the Japan Foundation.

For more information on our research project on “Undersea Cables, Geoeconomics, and Security in the Indo-Pacific: Risks and Resilience” and the participants, please visit https://go.hawaii.edu/FcY.

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About the Speakers:

Motohiro Tsuchiya is Vice-President for Global Engagement and Information Technology at Keio University and a Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media and Governance. He is interested in the impact of the information revolution on international relations; global governance and information technologies; and cyber security. Prior to joining the Keio faculty, he was associate professor at Center for Global Communications (GLOCOM), International University of Japan. He served as deputy director of Keio University Global Security Research Institute (G-SEC) from 2009 to 2013, and was an expert member of the Information Security Policy Council (ISPC) of the Japanese government from 2009 to 2013. He served as dean of Faculty of Policy Management at Keio University from October 2019 to July 2021. His books include Information and Global Governance (2001), Net Politics (2003), Network Power (2007), Intelligence and National Security (2007), Network Hegemony (2011), Cyber Terror (2012), and Cyber Security and International Relations (2015). He has also co-authored more than 20 books. He holds a Ph.D. in media and governance from Keio University.

Amanda H. A. Watson is a Fellow at the Department of Pacific Affairs at the Australian National University. Her research interests include digital technology in the Pacific, mobile telephones in Papua New Guinea and strategic uses of information and communication technologies in development efforts. Prior to joining ANU, Amanda taught at the University of Papua New Guinea’s School of Business and Public Policy under the ANU-UPNG Partnership and worked as a researcher on the use of mobile phones in development. She holds a Ph.D. from Queensland University of Technology.

Kristi Govella is Director of the Center for Indo-Pacific Affairs and Assistant Professor of Asian Studies at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Her research examines topics such as economic statecraft, trade, investment, government-business relations, regional institutional architecture, military alliances, and the governance of the global commons. She also serves as an Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center and Pacific Forum and as Editor of the journal Asia Policy. She previously held positions at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, Harvard University, and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.