Southeast Asia has quickly emerged as the focal point of a gathering strategic rivalry between the United States and China—a rivalry that will likely dominate global geopolitics for decades. At the geographic center of Southeast Asia sits Malaysia—a nation bridging the critical sea lanes that bisect the region, and one of four Southeast Asian claimants to territory in the South China Sea. Malaysia has also long been a poster child for economic modernization and political stability—though managing ethnic diversity has proven difficult in recent years as the Malaysian economy nears first-world status. Wilson Center Senior Scholar Marvin Ott’s presentation will focus on a nation that represents a bellwether for Southeast Asia’s strategic future, as well as a prototype for the challenges of rapid post-colonial modernization.
- Senior Scholar