The Southeast Asian Crucible – What the Region Reveals About the Future of U.S.-Chinese Competition
David Shambaugh – Foreign Affairs
It’s hard to ignore the tension of the current U.S.-China rift and its knock-on effects globally. As China’s influence grows and America becomes more weary of its new superpower status, other countries are now diverting their attention elsewhere, looking to cash in on China’s economic success.
This is especially true of Southeast Asia, with several states in the region appearing to join Beijing’s growing movement. China has asserted its presence in the region over the years and states are becoming increasingly dependant on Beijing. Despite this, America’s footprint within this area still remains large and they still hold many comparative advantages over China, with their direct investment almost doubling that of China and their commercial presence within the region long-standing. This Foreign Affairs article explains why, given the Biden administration prioritises Southeast Asian relations, America’s soft power will outweigh China’s hard power when it comes to engaging the region.
Read the full article here.