All Southeast Asian states want to take advantage of the benefits of a rising China, yet none wants it to be in a position to dominate the region strategically. All welcome America’s strategic ‘pivot’ towards Asia because they hope it will provide a counterbalance to China’s growing weight. But like Australia, Southeast Asian states worry about a future where their major economic partner may come into conflict with their security guarantor. Southeast Asian countries have very different histories and relationships with the United States and China. But the uniformity with which they now welcome America’s engagement in their region is striking.
Jessica Brown is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Independent Studies, and author of Jakarta’s Juggling Act: Balancing China and America in the Asia-Pacific. She holds a Masters Degree in International Studies from the University of Sydney and a Bachelor or Arts (Hons.) in Political Science from the University of Melbourne. She has been published in major Australian and Asian newspapers and is regularly asked to comment on public policy issues in the Australian media.
Watch Jessica Brown’s full lecture – Southeast Asia’s American Embrace: Why Washington is Welcome Once Again and the Q&A.