Author: Krzysztof Szumski
Institution: retired diplomat, expert on Thailand
Year of publication: 2017
Source: Show
Pages: 146-176
DOI Address:
PDF: ap/20/ap2007.pdf

The USA and Southeast Asia: a new deal

The beginning of XXI century is characterized by the rise of the role of East Asia in the contemporary world. The rivalry of great powers embraced all region, included Southeast Asia, which for a long time was at the forefront of development and regional integration initiatives, especially with the ASEAN. It became the area of interventions and influences of major external powers such as the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia, and the EU and Russia. Unfortunately also old local animosities included unresolved territorial disputes and new challenges like terrorism and pandemics, affect Southeast Asia. The American presidential election campaign in 2016 and particularly campaign of Donald Trump exerted great influence on situation in Southeast Asia. Some controversial decisions of Donald Trump such as withdrawal from Trans Pacific Partnership and the absence of the clear policy in the region, after the policy of “pivot/rebalance” of president Obama, almost completely changed political situation in Southeast Asia. The immediate consequence is the rise of the Chinese position in the area and extraordinary activation of diplomacy of Japan, Vietnam and some other countries, making attempt to stop Chinese influence. The political situation in the region turned more dynamic, unforeseeable and complicated. The countries of Southeast Asia sooner or later will face the crucial choice between the United States and China.



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