SOUTHEAST ASIA-CHINA RELATIONS: Dialectics of "Hedging" and "Counter-Hedging"

Southeast Asian Affairs, January 1, 2004 | Go to article overview

SOUTHEAST ASIA-CHINA RELATIONS: Dialectics of "Hedging" and "Counter-Hedging"


Chien-peng (C.P.) Chung

Hedging At the dawn of the twenty-first century, while the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) heavily promotes trade and investment with the People's Republic of China (PRC) to help it integrate into the world trading order, several member states have also made themselves available in various ways to help the United States retain a military presence in East Asia, as well as acceded to Japan's desire to complement its economic weight in Southeast Asia by playing a more active role in international peacekeeping or regional attempts to fight piracy. ASEAN is aware that it is a small player in the East Asian economic-cum-security arena where the presence of the United States, Japan, and an increasingly powerful China are not only unavoidable, but also keenly felt. By striving for a distribution of power that allows regional countries to maintain a stable external environment conducive to the maximization of trade and investment opportunities, but at the same time deny a potential hegemon the ability to assert undue dominance, Southeast Asian governments hope to achieve essential policy goals such as maintaining national independence, foreign policy autonomy, regional peace, and economic growth.

If ASEAN states are engaging in a form of pragmatic "hedging" behaviour, this is principally motivated by the need to optimize economic benefits and minimize security risks in response to an environment of uncertainty, primarily driven by the rise of China as an economic and military power. The region hopes to maximize economic opportunities with China, but is uncertain as to its future foreign and security policy orientation.

Will China as a strong country behave like a threatening military hegemon or a friendly economic partner to countries in the region that are, vis-à-vis China, militarily weak, economically unsteady, and beset by ethnic, religious, and boundary problems? ASEAN governments strongly believe that increasing the interdependence of the Chinese economy with that of Southeast Asia and the rest of the world has the effect of giving Beijing a stake in the peace and stability of the region.

China attracts nearly four-fifths of the foreign direct investment that comes to Asia,1 and is in many ways an economic competitor of Southeast Asian countries for export markets in the industrialized world. Yet, China is also potentially a major customer for the natural resources, consumer goods, and household electronics produced by these countries, hence their overall desire to maintain a co-operative relationship with the Northeast Asian behemoth. Echoing widespread sentiments, the Trade and Industry Minister of Singapore, George Yeo, specifically asked his countrymen to be prepared to "hitch a ride" from the "coming Chinese economic juggernaut", which he described, will "gather speed" and be "very big".2

Apart from numbers, however, there is as yet no ready answer to the question of China's future roles and intention in the region. Thus some Southeast Asian governments are helping the United States retain a military presence in the region as a security insurance and stabilizing element for economic growth. To maintain a co-operative balance of interests among the three major powers of China, the United States, and Japan in the region, Southeast Asian states have also pushed for the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), and the ASEAN+33 to promote security discussions and economic interactions in multilateral settings, respectively.

ASEAN states recognize the continuing U.S. strategic presence in the region as a stabilizing element necessary for economic development. As such, they are making themselves available in various ways to help the United States retain a military presence in East Asia. They have offered base facilities and logistic support to, and conducted military exercises with, U.S. forces. Since the U.S. military withdrew from Subic Naval Base and Clark Airforce Base in the Philippines in 1992, Singapore has expanded logistic support to the U. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

SOUTHEAST ASIA-CHINA RELATIONS: Dialectics of "Hedging" and "Counter-Hedging"
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.