After 30 years of dialogue with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China is reportedly seeking to upgrade that relationship as its ties to the region deepen. It also comes as the United States tries to boost its own ties in Southeast Asia and wrest the area from Chinese influence. China has grown closer to ASEAN’s 10 member states since it was admitted as an observer in 1991, becoming its largest trading partner last year. That trend will continue as China’s Belt and Road Initiative infrastructure megaproject continues to expand. However, not all is immediately ready. There are regular confrontations between China and ASEAN countries involving fishing fleets, petroleum exploration vessels, and warships conducting maritime maneuvers.
Get new content delivered directly to your inbox.