Chinese and American policies toward mainland Southeast Asia exhibit interesting and complicsated aspects as both great powers hedge against the future. Beijing has close relations with the Burmese Government as does Washington with Thailand. Vietnam, however, is more resistant to serious engagement with either China or the United States. Cambodia and Laos are afterthoughts for both Beijing and Washington. As China and the United States seek to influence mainland Southeast Asia, they encounter limits to their policies. The Burmese junta is wary of too much Chinese penetration and seeks to manipulate the availability of its oil and gas sales among Beijing, Tokyo, and New Delhi. Washington, despite close military relations with Bangkok, finds Bangkok willing to substantially engage economically with the Chinese. In conclusion, China views mainland Southeast Asia from a strategic viewpoint while the United States, preoccupied with Iraq and Afghanistan, usually concentrates on governance and democracy issues in mainland Southeast Asia.


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pp. 447-465
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