Are Southeast Asian Countries Willing to Join the Chorus of China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative?
This chapter begins by showing Southeast Asian (SEA) states fall into three camps as far as their attitudes and reactions to China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) are concerned. One camp, which includes countries like Cambodia, is strongly supportive. A second camp, which includes countries such as Indonesia, is supportive, albeit ambivalently. A third camp encompasses countries like the Philippines that have oscillated between support and opposition. This chapter develops a framework to explain why SEA countries have differing attitudes and reaction to China’s MSRI as manifest in their rhetoric, signing of agreements with China, and welcoming of Chinese special economic zones (SEZs) and why some states have shifted their postures and practices over time. It asserts domestic factors explains much of the observed variation.
The author would like to thank Jean-Marc F. Blanchard and May Tan-Mullins for their valuable feedback. Thanks also go to the editor and Bas Hooijmaaijers for their editing work and Xu Jing for her help conforming the chapter to Palgrave style requirements.
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