權力平衡理論提供觀察冷戰結束後亞太安全情勢轉變的一項觀念架構，也提供區域內中共、日本、俄羅斯及美國四強權及東協領導人在政策制訂及政策選擇上的彈性空間。上述強權的互動似已進入一個嶄新的階段，每兩強間的合作與疏離均在某種程度上影響亞太的權力平衡，進而衝擊亞太地區的安全情勢。亞太處此區域秩序變遷的時刻，加強東協區域論壇的功能，應有助於減少四強戰略互動所可能引起的疑慮與猜忌，甚或可進一步提供必要的規範以促進良性的互動，而有益於亞太的安定與和平。亞太地區若能藉權力平衡維持區域穩定，同時東協區域論壇亦能漸進的發揮功能，則東協區域壇未嘗不可能成為亞太邁向集體安全的先驅。 The theory of the balance of power provides us with a conceptual framework to observe security situations in the Asia-Pacific in the post-Cold War ear. Interactions among big powers in the Asia-Pacific have dramatically increased in recent years. Under such circumstances, strengthening the functions of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) should promote confidence and security building measures in the region. In the long run, the ARF may be able to establish norms and rules for its members in handling regional political and security issues. Therefore, one cannot rule out the possibility that the ARF may someday become an institution serving as a stepping stone towards collective security in the Asia-Pacific. Yet, practice of the balance of power still has merit in maintaining stability in the Asia-Pacific before a new regional order is formed.