Chinas rise and stepped-up involvement in Southeast Asia have prompted a blend of anticipation and unease among its smaller neighbors. The stunning growth of China has yanked up the regions economies, but its militarization of the South China Sea and dam building on the Mekong River has nations wary about Beijings outsized ambitions. Southeast Asians long felt relatively secure, relying on the United States as a security hedge, but that confidence began to slip after the Trump administration launched a trade war with China and questioned the usefulness of traditional alliances. This compelling book provides a snapshot of ten countries in Southeast Asia by exploring their diverse experiences with China and how this impacts their perceptions of Beijings actions and its long-term political, economic, military, and "soft power" goals in the region.
Murray Hiebert is a senior associate of the Southeast Asia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C. He earlier served as senior adviser and deputy director of the CSIS Southeast Asia Program. Prior to joining CSIS, Hiebert was senior director for Southeast Asia at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Earlier, he was a journalist in the China bureau of the Wall Street Journal. Prior to his posting to Beijing, he worked for the Wall Street Journal Asia and the Far Eastern Economic Review in Washington, reporting on U.S.-Asia relations. From 1995 to 1999, he was based in Kuala Lumpur for the Far Eastern Economic Review. In the early 1990s, he was based in Hanoi for the Review. He joined the Reviews Bangkok bureau in 1986, covering developments in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos. Hiebert is the author of two books on Vietnam, Chasing the Tigers (Kodansha, 1996) and Vietnam Notebook (Review Publishing, 1993).