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The U.S.-China Tensions in Southeast Asia: Foreign Policies of Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines as Middle Ground States

  • Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies
  • Abbr : JAPS
  • 2020, 27(4), pp.29-66
  • DOI : 10.18107/japs.2020.27.4.002
  • Publisher : Institute of Global Affairs
  • Research Area : Social Science > Social Science in general
  • Received : November 6, 2020
  • Accepted : December 14, 2020
  • Published : December 30, 2020

Choi, Kyong Jun 1

1제주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study investigates how the political and economic orders in Southeast Asia have changed due to the escalating U.S.–China tensions and what diplomatic strategies middle ground states have adapted to deal with these great powers by comparing Vietnam, Myanmar, and the Philippines. Before the U.S.–China conflict, Vietnam demonstrated a neutrality strategy between the two, Myanmar maintained a bandwagoning strategy with China, and the Philippines followed a balancing strategy against China. However, the three countries are now pursuing hedging strategies against the rising great power of China in order to secure their own national security and economic interests in the face of rivalry between great powers. These changes in diplomatic strategies are influenced by the geopolitical positions, historical memories, and political and economic systems of each of these countries.

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