Handbook of the Politics of China
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Handbook of the Politics of China

Edited by David S.G. Goodman

The Handbook of the Politics of China is a comprehensive resource introducing readers to the very latest in research on Chinese politics. David Goodman provides an introduction to the key structures and issues, providing the foundations on which later learning can be built. It contains four sections of new and original research, dealing with leadership and institutions, public policy, political economy and social change, and international relations and includes a comprehensive bibliography. Each of the 26 chapters has been written by an established authority in the field and each reviews the literature on the topic, and presents the latest findings of research. An essential primer for the study of China’s politics.
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Chapter 25: Southeast Asia

Alberto Camarena and Jörn Dosch


Ever since the ‘rise of China’ has captured the public and academic imagination, Southeast Asia has taken centre stage in this debate because of the region’s proximity to China (Chong and Li 2011; Yeoh 2009; Storey 2011; Percival 2007; Kurlantzick 2007). If the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was to establish itself as a leading and possibly hegemonic power on the international stage, such a development would surely manifest itself first in the nation’s immediate neighbourhood, or so the mainstream argument goes. At one end of the spectrum, some argue that China’s rise provides manifold opportunities for Southeast Asia, which nicely matches China’s official ‘win–win’ rhetoric: since the Association of Southeast Asian States (ASEAN)1 ‘collectively established official contact with China in 1991, the two sides have made remarkable progress in forging a strategic partnership for peace and prosperity’ (Yang and Heng 2011: 126). At the other end of the spectrum, a smaller group proposes that the emergence of an expansionist China is a threat to a stable regional order (for example Grieco 2002; Sokolsky et al. 2001). Most of the studies in this latter category were published in the early 2000s and written against a backdrop of growing concerns about the future role of the United States in Southeast Asia: a zero-sum scenario for big power hegemony in which ‘the Chinese are now eating the Americans’ lunch in the region’ (Cox 2008: 310).

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