The introduction lays out the background, basic themes, and structure of the book. Southeast Asian states have returned to financial stability from the 1997 financial crisis; however internal political conditions and divergent foreign policies toward China and the United States have driven ASEAN to split. Most of ASEAN governments are facing a dilemma: become pro-Beijing or join with those states resisting Chinese policy. The future of ASEAN’s integration will depend on Beijing’s strategy regarding sovereignty and security. China’s current hard-line position in the South China Sea is likely to only widen the differences within ASEAN.
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