Asia's Quest for Balance: China's Rise and Balancing in the Indo-Pacific

Asia's Quest for Balance: China's Rise and Balancing in the Indo-Pacific


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In recent years the narrative surrounding China’s “peaceful rise” has given way to a more ominous story of friction, ambition, and great-power rivalry. As Chinese foreign policy has grown more nationalist and assertive, its intensifying competition with the U.S. has assumed center stage. The impact on China's neighbors, by contrast, and their evolving responses, have received comparatively less attention.

The Realist theory of international relations suggests the rapid accumulation of power by one nation-state will prompt its neighbors and peers to adopt Balancing strategies. They will strive enhance their internal defense capabilities and forge new external security partnerships to hedge against this potential new threat. Have these predictions rung true? Are key Indo-Pacific capitals Balancing, and drawing closer to the U.S. as insurance against Chinese aggression? Or is China a new breed of rising power, challenging traditional theories of international relations in a newly-globalized, economically interdependent world?

In Asia’s Quest for Balance: China’s Rise and Balancing in the Indo-Pacific leading author-experts from Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam explore these questions and more, decoding China’s complex and evolving relationships with its neighbors and exploring how their responses are altering the security landscape of the region.

Contributions by Jay L. Batongbacal, Elliot Brennan, Tetsuo Kotani, Evan A. Laksmana, Joseph Chinyong Liow, Hunter Marston, Rory Medcalf, Sylvia Mishra, C. Raja Mohan, Prashanth Parameswaran, Jeff M. Smith, Tran Truong Thuy, and Ha Anh Tuan

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538106334
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 10/15/2018
Series: American Foreign Policy Council Series
Pages: 334
Product dimensions: 6.17(w) x 9.15(h) x 0.98(d)

About the Author

Jeff M. Smith is a research fellow in Heritage's Asian Studies Center, focusing on South Asia. He formerly served as director of Asian Security Programs at the American Foreign Policy Council. Smith is the author of Cold Peace: China-India Rivalry in the 21st Century (Lexington Books, 2014) and has contributed to multiple books on Asian Security issues.

Smith has testified as an expert witness before multiple congressional committees, served in an advisory role for several presidential campaigns, and regularly briefs officials in the executive and legislative branches on matters of Asian security. His writing on Asian security issues has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Wall Street Journal, Foreign Policy, USA Today, Harvard International Review, Jane’s Intelligence Review, The National Interest, and The Diplomat, among others. In recent years his expert commentary has been featured by The Economist, The New York Times, FOX News, The Washington Times, Reuters, and the BBC, among others.

Table of Contents

Preface vii

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Let Her Sleep 1

1 Balancing Basics 5

2 A Nationalist Awakening 9

3 Threat Perceptions 20

4 A Balancing Preview 28

5 Singapore 40

6 Malaysia 54

7 Indonesia 67

8 The Philippines 82

9 Vietnam 98

10 Myanmar 117

11 Australia 133

12 India 153

13 Japan 172

14 The Asian Balancing Landscape 187

15 Engagement and Sharp Power 195

16 The Return of the Quad 208

17 A New Cycle of (Under-) Balancing 225

18 Conclusions and Common Ground 234

Notes 243

Index 311

Contributors 319

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