Abstract

Abstract:

U.S.-China comprehensive competition is currently playing out on an increasingly global scale. The competition's primary locus is the vast Indo-Asia-Pacific region, and it is centered in Southeast Asia. The United States and China each possess comparative advantages in the region. Beijing's advantages are predominantly economic and diplomatic, whereas Washington's are more multifaceted. Although the Barack Obama administration's "pivot" significantly raised the U.S profile in Southeast Asia, China has also expanded its presence and influence. The two powers are increasingly locked in a classic strategic competition, but the pervasive media narrative in the region holds that China is gaining the upper hand. While this gravitation toward Beijing has become a popular meme, it is not empirically accurate—as the United States still possesses substantial overall advantages. Still, the regional balance is dynamic, and the United States needs to remain comprehensively engaged—or else the balance of influence will default to China. At present, the Sino-American competition in Southeast Asia is not (yet) acute and zero-sum. Therefore, the two powers should be able to manage their tensions, limit their rivalry, and practice competitive coexistence.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1531-4804
Print ISSN
0162-2889
Pages
pp. 85-127
Launched on MUSE
2018-05-17
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.