Southeast Asia-China relations : dialectics of “Hedging” and “Counter-Hedging”

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Journal article

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Southeast Asian Affairs

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At the dawn of the twenty-first century, while the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) heavily promotes trade and investment with the People’s Republic of China (PRC) to help it integrate into the world trading order, several member states have also made themselves available in various ways to help the United States retain a military presence in East Asia, as well as acceded to Japan’s desire to complement its economic weight in Southeast Asia by playing a more active role in international peacekeeping or regional attempts to flight piracy. ASEAN is aware that it is a small player in the East Asian economic-cum-security arena where the presence of the United States, Japan, and an increasingly powerful China are not only unavoidable, but also keenly felt. By striving for a distribution of power that allows regional countries to maintain a stable external environment conducive to the maximization of trade and investment opportunities, but at the same time deny a potential hegemon the ability to assert undue dominance, Southeast Asian governments hope to archive essential policy goals such as maintaining national independence, foreign policy autonomy, regional peace, and economic growth.

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Recommended Citation

Chung, C. P. (2004). Southeast Asia-China relations: Dialectics of “Hedging” and “Counter-Hedging”. Southeast Asian Affairs, 2004, 35-53.

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