In China’s Shadow? Two New Books on Southeast Asia

Thursday 10 June 1700 to 1830 Helsinki Time (It is one hour ahead of Central European Time)

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) 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) will discuss the two books with their respective authors, followed by an audience Q & A session moderated by Duncan McCargo, Director of NIAS.

This is part of the “China’s Rise/Asia’s Responses” Conference, but it will be open for the public who are not taking part in this conference. If you have signed up for the conference, you do not need to register for this public event. Otherwise, please do register here by 5 June (or copy and paste

Zoom link will be mailed to you one day before the event.