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China, The United States, and the Future of Southeast AsiaU.S.-China Relations, Volume II$
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David B.H. Denoon

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479866304

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479866304.001.0001

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ASEAN’s External Policy

ASEAN’s External Policy

Caught between the United States and China

(p.50) 2 ASEAN’s External Policy
China, The United States, and the Future of Southeast Asia

Ann Marie Murphy

NYU Press

ASEAN has long promoted its key interests in a stable and autonomous Southeast by binding outside powers to ASEAN’s norms and institutions. Today, domestic political change, divergent interests among ASEAN countries, and the changing balance of power in the Asia-Pacific are eroding the ASEAN cohesion necessary for a collective ASEAN external policy. ASEAN policy is based on soft power and therefore is dependent on a stable balance of power. China’s rise has upset that balance, triggering Sino-American tensions and conflicts with some Southeast Asian states. ASEAN’s goals of regional stability and autonomy from great power hegemony are increasingly coming into conflict, which may force ASEAN members to choose between them.

Keywords:   autonomy, noninterference, security, South China Sea, UNCLOS, Maritime Silk Road, Senkaku Islands

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