Rethinking US-Southeast Asia Relations: The China Factor and Beyond

Monday, April 8, 2024
12:00 PM - 1:30 PM
Philippines Conference Room
Encina Hall, Third Floor, Central, C330
616 Jane Stanford Way, Stanford, CA 94305
  • Cheng-Chwee Kuik, Professor of International Relations, National University of Malaysia,
  • David Shambaugh, 2023-24 Distinguished Visiting Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
Flyer for the discussion "Rethinking US-Southeast Asia Relations" with headshots of speakers Cheng-Chwee Kuik and David Shambaugh.

This event is part of the Southeast Asia Program's 25th Anniversary celebration on the theme "Reconsidering Southeast Asia: Issues and Prospects"

Two critiques still burden America’s relations with Southeast Asia: Southeast Asians tend to resent the American tendency to emphasize China while warning them against the "China threat” lest they succumb to the influence of Beijing. Americans, in turn, tend to object when Southeast Asians hedge their cooperation by tilting toward China while taking advantage of what the US can offer. Responding to American pressure, Southeast Asians warn Washington, “Don’t make us choose.” These and other concerns will be taken up by two analysts uniquely well-qualified to discuss them. 

Kuik Cheng Chwee - 040824

Cheng-Chwee Kuik is Professor of International Relations and Head of the Centre for Asian Studies at the Institute of Malaysian and International Studies in the National University of Malaysia and a nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy Institute of the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University. 

David Shambaugh - 030824

David Shambaugh is the Gaston Sigur Professor of Asian Studies, Political Science, and International Affairs at George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, whose China Policy Program he founded and directs. 

Each scholar has written widely on the seminar’s topic. Recent examples include essays by Prof. Kuik—e.g., “Explaining Hedging: The Case of Malaysian Equidistance” (in process, 2024) and “Getting Hedging Right: A Small-State Perspective” (2021)—and the detailed report and recommendations of a Working Group on Southeast Asia led by Prof. Shambaugh, Prioritizing Southeast Asia in American China Policy (Asia Society, 2023), which followed his Where Great Powers Meet: America & China in Southeast Asia (2020). 

Lunch will be served.