ASEAN-China

Chinese Premier Li Qiang speaks at the China-ASEAN Expo 2023, on 17 September 2023. (SPH Media)

Navigating China’s influence: Insights from the State of Southeast Asia 2024 Survey

Southeast Asians recognise China’s burgeoning influence in the region, but there are nuances to the geopolitical dynamics. The region needs to manage its relationship with the rising global power; China needs to address the lack of confidence that it will "do the right thing”.
The Philippine's Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr (left) and Vietnam's President Vo Van Thuong (right) attend a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi on 30 January 2024. (Nhac Nguyen/AFP)

Philippine President Marcos Jr's visit to Vietnam: Creating a 'united front' over South China Sea issue?

President Marcos Jr’s overtures to Vietnam during his recent visit to Hanoi seem to indicate that ASEAN claimant states are starting to “gang up” on China. But the picture is not so clear-cut, says Chinese academic Peng Nian, when one considers Vietnam’s interests and relations with China.
Chinese Premier Li Qiang speaks at the 20th China-ASEAN Expo in Nanning, Guangxi province, China, on 17 September 2023. (SPH Media)

China’s 'community of shared future' with Southeast Asia: Behind the numbers

Seven ASEAN member states have signed on to China’s “community of shared future” more for mutually beneficial cooperation than because they subscribe fully to the Chinese vision of a new regional order. The remaining three may prefer practical cooperation rather than to be enmeshed in China’s grand strategy and discourse.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang shake hands during a bilateral meeting held at the Liyuan Guest House, 17 September 2023. (fotoBernama)

Anwar's China trips: Is Malaysia putting China before the West?

Malaysia Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim made his second visit to China in September to attend the 20th China-ASEAN Expo just months after his last visit in March. While Anwar has repeatedly insisted that Malaysia’s relations with the US and other Western countries remain strong, his active engagement of China draws questions over Malaysia’s emphasis in foreign policy.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke to CCTV on 24 March. This photo shows PM Lee at the PN-UPI Linkage Virtual Launch, 21 February 2023. (Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore)

Lee Hsien Loong: The world cannot afford a conflict between China and the US

In an interview on CCTV-13’s “Leaders Talk”《高端访谈》programme first broadcast on 24 March, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong spoke about trust and mutual understanding in longstanding Singapore-China bilateral relations, and expressed the hope that both countries would take this forward in areas such as the Belt and Road Initiative, China-ASEAN relations, China's rise and US-China relations. The following are edited excerpts of the full transcript of the interview issued by Singapore's Prime Minister’s Office.
Attendees take their positions for a photograph with journalists during the ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Retreat in Jakarta on 4 February 2023. (Bay Ismoyo/AFP)

State of Southeast Asia Survey 2023: Separate tangos with China and the US

If ASEAN can’t tango with China or the US, who else? Pragmatic as always, ASEAN’s favourite choices for hedging partners remain the EU and Japan but attention appears to have also fallen on India as its third choice this year.
Chinese RMB banknotes are seen behind an illuminated stock graph in this illustration taken on 10 February 2020. (Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo/Reuters)

What’s in store for RMB internationalisation in 2023?

The RMB is now one of the most actively traded currencies in the world and is set to gain further traction globally this year, as the People’s Bank of China implements the government’s strategy to boost the currency’s use overseas, challenging the dominance of the US dollar in the long term.
Passengers from China's Xiamen arrive at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport after China reopens its borders amid the Covid-19 pandemic, in Bangkok, Thailand, 9 January 2023. (Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters)

How China and ASEAN could help each other transition to the new normal

Researcher Peng Nian notes that China’s efforts to strengthen its relations with ASEAN through building a “community with a shared future for mankind” could ramp up as its borders reopen. While it may take time for the ASEAN member states to open their arms again to China, progress is far from being at a standstill.
Cambodia's Foreign Minister Prak Sokhonn and Secretary General of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Lim Jock Hoi pose for pictures before a meeting with Southeast Asian foreign ministers at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat in Jakarta, Indonesia, 27 October 2022. (Galih Pradipta/Pool via Reuters)

George Yeo: ASEAN’s advantage in an emerging multipolar world

Delivering the keynote address of the ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute’s Regional Outlook Forum 2023, Singapore’s former Foreign Minister George Yeo spoke about the ways that ASEAN’s weakness is also a strength in the transition to a multipolar world.