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China’s geopolitical ambitions and growing military capabilities and theSoutheast Asian states’ perceptions of a rising China will play a crucial role in shaping the future of Southeast Asia and the U.S. military posture in the region. The authors examine the role of regional states in developing a hedge against the possible emergence of an overly aggressive China. They find that rather than confronting a conventional attack, theUnited States and the Southeast Asian countries are likely to find a continuation of China’s creeping irredentism and ambiguous threats. Southeast Asia is likely to prove a critical testing ground for a third way of dealing with China’s rising power — what in other RAND work has been called a policy of congagement — that seeks to integrate China into theinternational system while both deterring and preparing for a possible Chinese challenge. The report recommends that the United States adopt an incremental approach to this hedging strategy, focusing on peacetime military engagement with Southeast Asian states, development of a more robust and diversified network of access arrangements, and strengthened military ties with the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,and Vietnam.
Table of Contents
U.S. Objectives and Interests in Southeast Asia PDF
China’s Potential Military Threat to Southeast Asia PDF
ASEAN Perceptions of a Rising China PDF
ASEAN Defense Policies and Expenditures PDF
Regional Approaches to Security Cooperation PDF
The Balancing Role of the United States and the Taiwan Question PDF
Implications for U.S. Strategy and Defense Planning PDF
Illustrative Asian Economic Scenarios PDF
Selected Bibliography PDF