Where Great Powers Meet: America & China in Southeast Asia
Where: Asia Society and Museum
725 Park Ave.
212-288-6400 Price: Free
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As the eminent China scholar David Shambaugh explains in his new book Where Great Powers Meet, the United States and China are engaged in a broad-gauged and global competition for power. While this competition ranges across the entire world, it is centered in Asia—most notably, Shambaugh argues, in the critical sub-region of Southeast Asia. The United States and China constantly vie daily for position and influence across this enormously significant area—and the outcome of this contest will do much to determine whether Asia leaves the American orbit after seven decades and falls into a new Chinese sphere of influence. Just as importantly, to the extent that there is a global “power transition” occurring from the U.S. to China, the fate of Southeast Asia will be a good indicator of how it may play out. Both powers bring important strengths and weaknesses to bear in their competition. The United States continues to possess a depth and breadth of security ties, soft power, and direct investment across the region that empirically outweigh China’s—but lags behind in diplomacy and trade. For its part, China has more diplomatic influence, much greater trade, and geographic proximity—but is weaker in hard and soft power. In assessing the competition, Shambaugh examines how ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) and its member states exercise their own agency, maneuver, and align with one or the other power.Buy tickets/get more info now