Murray Hiebert will introduce key themes from his new book, Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge, in which the author details the differences in how countries in the region’s perceive Beijing. China’s trade has played a critical role in driving economic development in most countries and heaps of capital have begun financing infrastructure gaps. All countries want to take advantage of China’s rise without risking their sovereignty.
Beijing’s increased assertiveness in the South China Sea have some countries worried about China’s ambitions and its holding back water behind its dams along the Mekong have mainland countries fretting about the future of the river and their agriculture as the region enters its second year of drought. Most countries have long looked to Washington to hedge China’s rise, prompting some to fear they could be forced to choose sides between the two superpowers as their relations have spiraled into deeper hostility.
The countries of Southeast Asia have great diversity in how they receive and respond to Beijing. Which countries have been changed most by China? Why is that? Which ones are most successful in engaging China and yet holding it at arm’s length?
About the speaker
Murray Hiebert is a senior associate of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He earlier served as senior adviser and deputy director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program. Prior to joining CSIS, Hiebert was senior director for Southeast Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Earlier, he was a journalist in the China bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Prior to his posting to Beijing, he worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Washington, reporting on U.S.-Asia relations. From 1995 to 1999, he was based in Kuala Lumpur for the Far Eastern Economic Review. In the early 1990s, he was based in Hanoi for the Review. He joined the Review’s Bangkok bureau in 1986, covering developments in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Hiebert is the author of two books on Vietnam: Chasing the Tigers and Vietnam Notebook.