The Hedging Strategy of the Countries of Southeast Asia
AbstractSince the end of the Cold War the region of South-East Asia has undergone profound changes, which were marked, above all, by the rise of China and also the US rebalance towards Asia. This paper seeks to demonstrate how the small states in this region cope with the changing regional order. Specifically it explores the reactions of the governments in Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Hanoi to the policies of Washington and Beijing. They employ a general strategy commonly known as “hedging” that includes engagement with China, soft balancing with the United States and enmeshing other regional actors in the related affairs. Although the strategies of the Philippines, Malaysia and Vietnam may look the same, we may find significant differences in the ways hedging is pursued in these countries.
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