Meeting the China Challenge: The U.S. in Southeast Asian Regional Security Strategies

About the Publication

In the post-Cold War period, regional uncertainties about the potential dangers attending a rising China have led some analysts to conclude that almost all Southeast Asian states now see the U.S. as the critical balancing force. In contrast, based on case studies on Thailand, Singapore, and Vietnam, this study argues that key states in the region do not perceive themselves as having the stark choices of either balancing against or bandwagoning with China. The study also investigates each state's perceptions of the American role in regional security and discusses how they operationalize their hedging policies against a potential U.S. drawdown in the region, as well as the different degrees to which they use their relationships with the United States as a hedge against potential Chinese domination. Finally the author discusses these states' expectations of what the U.S. should do to help in their hedging strategies toward China, suggesting a range of policies that span the military as well as political, diplomatic, and economic realms.
          Published by East-West Center. Available exclusively from ISEAS for distribution in Asia.

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