16 November 2017
A web of alliances between the United States and its partners in the Asia-Pacific entrenches US dominance in the region’s security order. Since the end of the Cold War, the economic rise of China and its concomitant strategic assertiveness in the Asia-Pacific have challenged American primacy in regional affairs. Asian partners of the US find themselves caught in the need to maintain economic relations with China, while preserving strategic ties with Washington.
Instead of forcing Southeast Asian states to make a choice, the US government should engage the region in a manner which allows them to work with and benefit from both Washington and other partners. Hence, the US should enhance bilateral relations with ASEAN member countries that have yet to establish comprehensive bilateral cooperation with the US. Doing so will facilitate understanding and acceptance of American values and policies among Southeast Asian nations over time.
…Daniel Chua Wei Boon is Assistant Professor and Deputy Head of Graduate Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. A longer version of this was presented at “ASEAN@50, Southeast Asia@Risk: What Should Be Done? A Prescriptive Workshop” jointly organised by RSIS, Stanford University, the Australian National University and the Daniel K. Inouye Asia Pacific Centre for Security Studies in Honolulu on 25-27 October 2017.
GPO / IDSS / Online
Last updated on 21/11/2017