Sebastian Strangio and Murray Hiebert

Jun 21, 2021

In China’s Shadow: China and Southeast Asia

A Discussion with Sebastian Strangio and Murray Hiebert

New Books Network 2021

Does Southeast Asia face a stark choice between aligning with China or the United States? Can we understand domestic developments in the region as driven by wider geopolitics? Can the lacklustre regional organization ASEAN play a central role in mediating these dynamics, or are individual Southeast Asian countries locked into deeply unequal bilateral linkages? Is China a largely benevolent force in the region, or an untrustworthy would-be hegemon?

In this session, we meet the authors of two recent books on interactions between China and Southeast Asia: Sebastian Strangio and Murray Hiebert. Both authors are veteran foreign correspondents who lived in Southeast Asia for many years.

Sebastian Strangio’s book In the Dragon’s Shadow (Yale 2020; interviewed on the NBN here) and Murray Hiebert’s Under Beijing’s Shadow (Rowman and Littlefield 2020) address closely related topics: how does Southeast Asia navigate relations with a much larger neighbour that has become increasingly powerful in recent decades, economically, politically and indeed militarily? Both books discuss regional relationships as well as bilateral ties between China and individual Southeast Asian nations.

Wasana Wongsuwarat (Associate Professor of History, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand) and Petra Desatova (NIAS postdoctoral researcher) discuss the two books with their respective authors, in a conversation moderated by Duncan McCargo, Director of NIAS.

This podcast is taken from a session at the Fourteen Annual Nordic NIAS Council Conference ‘China’s Rise/Asia’s Responses’ ( held on 10-11 June 2021 in collaboration with the Nordic Association for China Studies and the University of Helsinki.

The Nordic Asia Podcast is a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region, brought to you by the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) based at the University of Copenhagen, along with our academic partners: the Centre for East Asian Studies at the University of Turku, Asianettverket at the University of Oslo, and the Stockholm Centre for Global Asia at Stockholm University.

We aim to produce timely, topical and well-edited discussions of new research and developments about Asia.

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Duncan McCargo

Duncan McCargo is an eclectic, internationalist political scientist, and literature buff: his day job is directing the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, at the University of Copenhagen.

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