Southeast Asia | Wilson Center

Southeast Asia

China and the South China Sea

Southeast Asia is bound to China by geography. Viewed from China, the region is a southern appendage to China, one fragmented into a number of relatively small countries. Ethnographers believe all the major long-established populations in that region originally migrated from China – pushed south over millennia by the expanding numbers of the Han people. Some of those populations, notably the Thai, retain a close affinity to China because substantial numbers of their coethnics still live in southern China.

Realizing the Singapore-on-Thames Inspiration

The Conservative’s landslide victory in the latest UK elections led to a collective sigh of relief in the global financial markets. The win is expected to lead to political stability that has been much-needed since the 2016 referendum when Britons voted to leave the European Union. Whether for or against Brexit, the past three years have made it difficult for the country to focus on anything but its future relations with the Continent.

Why 2020 Will Be a Big Year for Vietnam’s Foreign Policy

Over the past few years, Vietnam’s foreign policy has been in focus due to Hanoi’s increasing activism on a range of issues ranging from peacekeeping to the territorial disputes in the South China Sea, where it is a claimant. 2020 will be a big year that spotlights that, with Vietnam holding a couple of prominent regional and international positions amid a challenging geopolitical environment and a busy period for its domestic politics as well.

What Does the Rise of China’s Security Partnerships Mean for Asia?

Over the past few weeks, new details have emerged around a potential Chinese military facility in Cambodia, which could possibly give Beijing its first installation of its kind in Southeast Asia.

Managing the Rise of China's Security Partnerships in Southeast Asia

Over the past few years, while China has continued its criticism of the U.S. alliance system in the Asia-Pacific, Beijing has in fact been developing a network of new security partnerships of its own in the region. The emergence of these security partnerships is of potentially great significance, not just for Beijing’s own growing regional influence, but the alignments of other countries such as the United States and the broader regional security architecture.

The South China Sea in Strategic Terms

In recent years, U.S. military planners have shifted their focus from counterterrorism, low intensity conflict to great power, high intensity threats.  The most likely single scenario for a major military engagement against a great power adversary would be one against China centered on the South China Sea.  There are certainly other situations involving other challenges, but this is the most plausible and dangerous.  Any such assertion must rest on an understanding that critical U.S.

USAID and the Private Sector: Blended Finance Partnership to Combat Ocean Plastic Pollution (Launch Event)

The amount of plastic pollution flowing into the ocean is increasing at an alarming rate, creating an urgent challenge for the world’s environment and economy. On our current trajectory, by 2050 — pound for pound — there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. Most ocean plastic pollution emanates from developing countries — and, more specifically, from rapidly urbanizing coastal cities in the developing world — where waste management systems are struggling to keep pace with growing populations and increasing amounts of trash.

Southeast Asia Stands to Gain Big on U.S.-China Frictions

The impact of the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute has gone far beyond the borders of the two countries calling the shots. From the IMF to investment banks on Wall Street, voices cautioning against escalating tensions and the risks posed by failure to resolve differences have been loud and clear. The uncertainty alone caused by the growing tensions between Washington and Beijing have been destabilizing for the region. What has been less evident, though, is that Sino-U.S. trade friction have already begun to benefit Southeast Asia.

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