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Role-Taking: China, ASEAN and the Third Indochina Conflict

  • Robert YatesEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Critical Studies of the Asia-Pacific book series (CSAP)

Abstract

This chapter analyses the Third Indochina Conflict and looks at how it acted as a catalyst for a role contest between China and Vietnam. China and Vietnam sought to legitimise their respective containment strategies in Indochina with ASEAN through claiming a great power guarantor role. After Vietnam intervened and occupied Cambodia, ASEAN and China negotiated a division of labour with respect to managing the conflict which brought China out of its previous social alienation to perform legitimate regional order functions. The chapter shows how ASEAN’s diplomatic leadership was expanded from its initial maritime subregion to cover the full extent of Southeast Asia. Through this expanded diplomatic leadership, ASEAN was able to limit the extent of China’s great power role-taking to the specific circumstances of the Third Indochina conflict by diluting the influence of the Chinese-backed Khmer Rouge and asserting the salience of its own rules and processes over Cambodia. The expansion of ASEAN’s remit built on the previous bargain reached with the US and provided foundations for creating ASEAN’s ‘regional conductor’ role in post-Cold War Asia-Pacific.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BristolBristolUK

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