Emerging US Security Partnerships in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia is being shaped by a careful calibration of foreign policy to balance the strong interest to have a constructive relationship with China overall, not least in economic terms, and concerns about its growing power and assertion of interests in the security sphere.
Equally, this challenge is being felt in the United States, both in bilateral relations with China and in managing American security partnerships in Asia.
As part of the US “rebalancing” strategy toward the Asia-Pacific, Washington’s policies to engage its existing and potential partners in Asia—diplomatically, economically, and on security issues—will likely intensify in the coming years, and with it, the expectation of allies and friends to bear a greater share of responsibility for regional security. At the same time, China’s importance in Asia will also likely increase.
It is therefore critical to understand how Southeast Asia and the United States will respond to the challenges and uncertainties that are dominating the strategic landscape in the region. Compared to the US’s traditional partners in Asia, especially in the northeast such as South Korea, Japan, and Taiwan, South East Asia has attracted relatively less investigation.
The US Studies Centre will focus on Vietnam, Myanmar and Indonesia as particularly interesting case studies:
- all have longstanding and complex relations with the US and China;
- each have recently reopened more positive relations with the US;
- all have intensive trade and diplomatic relations with China;
- all have past or current territorial disputes with China; and
- all continue to experience tensions along their common land or maritime borders with China.
The US Studies Centre will engage international and local experts, convene in-country workshops, conduct interviews, and publish research to fill the gap in understanding the “Emerging US Security Partnerships in Southeast Asia.” This project will run over the course of two years (2014-2016) and is generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation.
- Vietnam and the United States: An emerging security partnership (PDF)
- Indonesia: Balancing the United States and China, aiming for independence (PDF)
- Myanmar and the United States: Prospects for a limited security partnership (PDF)
- The Dynamics of US-China-Southeast Asia Relations (PDF)
Dr Bates Gill
Expertise: US domestic politics; US foreign policy, particularly in Asia; US security, defence and nonproliferation policy, particularly in Asia; US philanthropy… more
Associate Professor Jurgen Haacke
Associate Professor in International Relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science
Dr Jurgen Haacke is associate professor in international relations at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is part of the US Studies Centre's project "Emerging US Security Partners… more
Associate Professor Natasha Hamilton-Hart
Associate Professor at the University of Auckland Business School
Natasha Hamilton-Hart is Associate Professor in the Department of Management and International Business of the University of Auckland Business School and Director of the Southeast Asia Studies Centre … more
Writer on Southeast Asia, reporter, producer
Bill Hayton is part of the US Studies Centre's project "Emerging US Security Partnerships in Southeast Asia" generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation.… more
Dr Chin-Hao Huang
Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Yale-NUS College in Singapore
Dr Chin-Hao Huang is part of the US Studies Centre's project "Emerging US Security Partnerships in Southeast Asia" generously supported by the MacArthur Foundation.… more
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