The United States and China in Southeast Asia: Power Shift or Competitive Coexistence?
About the Seminar
US-China comprehensive competition is currently playing out on an increasingly global scale. The competition’s primary locus is across the vast Indo-Asia-Pacific region, but it is centred in Southeast Asia. The two powers are increasingly locked in a classic strategic competition, but the pervasive media narrative in the region holds that China is gaining the upper hand. While this gravitation toward Beijing has become a popular meme, it is not empirically accurate. The United States still possesses substantial strengths, and China has multiple weaknesses. How each power plays its hand, and leverages its comparative advantages, will do much to determine the balance of power and influence in the region in the year to come. If the two powers can manage their tensions, limit their rivalry, and practice competitive coexistence, then it will be of benefit to both as well as ASEAN.
About the Speaker
Professor David Shambaugh, currently a Visiting Senior Fellow at ISEAS – Yusof Ishak Institute, is also the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science & International Affairs, and Director of the China Policy Program at George Washington University in Washington, DC. An active public intellectual, policy advisor, and award-winning author, Professor Shambaugh has published on a wide range of China related issues as well as the international relations of Asia. His two most recent books, China Goes Global (2013) and China’s Future (2016) were both selected as “Best Books of the Year” by The Economist. He is researching his next book, Where Great Powers Meet: America and China in Southeast Asia.