How China Is Transforming Southeast Asia
In recent years, China and Southeast Asia have engaged in increasingly complex economic and security relations. Even with deepening diplomatic, cultural, and economic ties, tensions remain. From China’s nine-dash line and the String of Pearls, to its rapidly expanding infrastructure network under the Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing’s growing influence in the region is both visible and invisible. To spectators around the world, China’s rise may be cause for alarm, but for Southeast Asia, China may also be considered an ally in advancing regional economic growth. Do Belt and Road projects represent an avenue for long-term connectivity and growth or are they risky investments that threaten to entrap countries in unsustainable debt? How can Southeast Asia balance the trade-off between its deepening partnership with China with regional security and cohesion?