19 November 2015
South-east Asia is witnessing a new China, one that is more assertive and employing a three-pronged strategy of diplomacy, growing economic might and military muscle.
All the major global platforms are being exploited, from the United Nations to regional forums. Beijing is even initiating new ones, such as the Xiangshan Forum to rival the Singapore-based Shangri-La Dialogue. The priority now is clearly Beijing’s Asia-Pacific neighbourhood, the emerging epicentre of the 21st century world.
It is against this backdrop that we should view China’s latest diplomatic foray into South-east Asia, beginning with President Xi Jingping’s recent visit to Vietnam and then to Singapore, ahead of this week’s crucial regional summits – the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Manila and the East Asia Summit (EAS) in Kuala Lumpur – where China will be the player to watch.
… The writer is a senior fellow with the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. An earlier version of this RSIS Commentary was first published in the South China Morning Post.
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 19/11/2015