Humphrey Hawksley on 'Liberalism and the Indo-Pacific'

'Liberalism and the Indo-Pacific' by Humphrey Hawksley

UPF's International Media Association for Peace

Respondent: Keith Best, Chair of UPF - UK Trustees

Tuesday 31st January 2023


Humphrey Hawksley addressed the audience about issues in the Indo-Pacific last night in a UPF-UK end-of-the-month meeting. Hawksley using slides to illustrate the tensions as well as the background of the issues in the South China sea and Taiwan. These are issues that he covered extensively during his career as a former BBC Asia Correspondent, and when writing 'Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Indo-Pacific and the Challenge to American Power', and a series of highly-researched thrillers on Asia and the Arctic. (Video of the programme Here) 

He highlighted and explained the difference in perspectives and attitudes between the democratic nations of 'the West' and those in South East Asia for example, drawing on many years of experience in reporting on these issues. He concluded that many of those nations just find a way to trade and cooperate together. A common refrain he has heard from many nations in South East Asia is 'Don't make us choose' when referring to the super-power rivalry between the United States and China.  

He signed copies of his books after the presentation and Q and A. For more information about Hawksley's books see

Responding was Keith Best who is the Chair of the Board of Trustees of UPF-UK as well as the former Chairman of the World Federalist Movement and a former MP. He highlighted the importance of understanding international relations from multiple perspectives, emphasising the need for dialogue, collaboration, and cooperation between nations in order to ensure peace and stability in the region. He noted that Hawksley's work reflects the need for diplomats and policymakers to understand the complexity of the Indo-Pacific region and the potential for nations to work together.

Overall, the evening provided a unique insight into the issues in the Indo-Pacific region and the need for cooperation and dialogue between nations in order to resolve them.

Humphrey Hawksley is an award-winning author and foreign correspondent whose assignments with the BBC have taken him to crises all over the world. His Rake Ozenna series originated when reporting from the US-Russian border during heightened tension.

He has been a guest lecturer at universities and think tanks such as the RAND Corporation, The Center for Strategic and International Studies and MENSA Cambridge. He moderates the monthly Democracy Forum debates on international issues and is a host on the weekly Goldster Book Club where he discusses books and talks to authors. He has presented numerous BBC documentaries and his latest non-fiction work is Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Indo-Pacific and the Challenge to American Power.


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