Will the nations of Southeast Asia maintain their strategic autonomy, or are they destined to become a subservient periphery of China?
This book’s expert authors address this pressing question in multiple contexts. What clues to the future lie in the modern history of Sino-Southeast Asian relations? How economically dependent on China has the region already become? What do Southeast Asians think of China? Does Beijing view the region in proprietary terms as its own backyard? How has the relative absence, distance, and indifference of the United States affected the balance of influence between the US and China in Southeast Asia?
The book also explores China’s moves and Southeast Asia’s responses to them. Does China’s Maritime Silk Road through Southeast Asia herald a Pax Sinica across the region? How should China’s expansionary acts in the South China Sea be understood? How have Southeast Asian states such as Vietnam and the Philippines responded? How does Singapore’s China strategy compare with Indonesia’s? How relevant is the Association of Southeast Asian Nations? To what extent has China tried to persuade the “overseas Chinese” in Southeast Asia to identify with “'the motherland” and support its aims? How are China’s deep involvements in Cambodia and Laos affecting the economies and policies of those countries? “This rich collection,” writes renowned author-journalist Nayan Chanda, answers these and other questions while offering “fresh insights” and “new information and analyses” to explain Southeast Asia’s relations with China.
Donald K. Emmerson is Senior Fellow Emeritus at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and director of the Southeast Asia Program at the Walter H. Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University. He is active as an analyst of current policy issues involving Asia. In 2010 the National Bureau of Asian Research and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars awarded him a two-year Research Associateship given to “top scholars from across the United States” who “have successfully bridged the gap between the academy and policy.”