The ‘China threat’ conundrum in East and South-East Asia

Authored by: Andrew T. H. Tan

East and South-East Asia

Print publication date:  March  2013
Online publication date:  July  2013

Print ISBN: 9781857436396
eBook ISBN: 9780203146026
Adobe ISBN:


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In East and South-East Asia, the People’s Republic of China’s evident rise has posed a threat to the prevailing regional order which is dominated by the USA. The USA therefore faces the conundrum of how to respond to it: should it oppose China’s rise and attempt to counter it with a containment-type strategy, or should it accommodate it, which will result in the diminution of the USA’s influence in a pivotal region? Like the USA, the states in the region also face the same conundrum of how to respond to China’s rise. For them, however, the question is whether they should side with the USA to contain China, a risky strategy that could lead to armed conflict, or should they bow to the inevitable and embrace a new regional hegemon?

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