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Contending Perspectives: Southeast Asia and American Views on a Rising China (Colloquium Brief, September 2005)

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The State Departments Bureau of Intelligence and Research INR, the National Bureau of Asian Research, the Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies of Singapore, and the U.S. Army War College conducted a colloquium on Southeast Asian and American views of China in August 2005 in Singapore. The event brought together analysts and scholars from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and the United States to examine the economic, diplomatic, and military dimensions of Chinas rise from two perspectives. An abbreviated follow-on colloquium conducted by INR was held in Washington, DC, on November 3, 2005. This brief summarizes Southeast Asian and American perspectives on China as articulated by participants at the two events. The key conclusions from the events are as follows 1 While China has gained influence in Southeast Asia relative to the United States in recent years, U.S. influence has not been marginalized and remains robust 2 Southeast Asian states are hedging -- engaging with China while at the same time working to ensure the continued presence of extra-regional powers, especially the United States, to balance Chinas growing influence 3 China appears increasingly to see Southeast Asia as its strategic backyard and Chinese efforts to expand its influence in the region are likely to continue and 4 China is bolstering its economic ties with Southeast Asia, pursuing an activist role in multilateral fora of the region, and working to weaken U.S. security relationships with countries of the region.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations

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