China’s Strategic Calculus toward Southeast Asia

I have published a new article on China-Southeast Asia relations in the Fall 2018 issue of The Washington Quarterly. Here is an abstract:

A conventional wisdom among many international observers holds that China’s recent strategy toward Southeast Asia is self-defeating because its assertiveness in the South China Sea has reignited regional fears of China’s power and mistrust of its intentions. This is not Beijing’s judgment. Its assessment is instead that assertiveness has not engendered a regional backlash detrimental to China’s interests. On the contrary, China has been consolidating strategic gains since July 2016. Chinese officials attribute their overall success in Southeast Asia to a new composite strategy of conditional reassurance that combines reassurance with coercion in a Chinese-style dialecticism.

Follow this link to read the full article.

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Feng Zhang is a Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University’s Department of International Relations, Deputy Director (Higher Degree by Research) of the ANU’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, and a member of the executive committee of the Australian Centre on China in the World based at the ANU. His research focuses on Chinese foreign policy, Asia-Pacific security, and international relations theory. He is also Adjunct Professor at the National Institute for South China Sea Studies in China.

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