US-China competition and the trade in illicit goods

Chit Win

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

    Abstract

    The United States and China are competing against each other for political and economic influence in Southeast Asia. Countries in the region are managing their relations so they do not become victims of this emerging power rivalry. However, there are a few areas where the region can benefit from their presence. With the escalation of threats from transnational terrorism, the United States and China have worked with ASEAN countries to address international security issues with a common purpose. As ASEAN’s strategic partners, both the United States and China have played a constructive role in dealing with these non-traditional security threats. However, while US and Chinese engagement on topical issues such as terrorism and cybercrime receives public attention because of the perception of immediate risk, their involvement in the region’s longstanding problems such as trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, and transboundary haze receives far less attention, and is often overlooked in public discussion by issues such as the South China Sea dispute. This paper questions the effect of US–China competition in Southeast Asia on ASEAN’s efforts to combat the illicit trade in goods including drugs. It argues that the region receives minimal benefit from US–China engagement because of their diverse interests and approaches to these issues. However, ASEAN could reap greater benefits by more astutely cultivating superpower competition for leadership in these sectors
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationSoutheast Asian Perspectives on U.S.- China Competition
    Editors Aaron L Connelly
    Place of PublicationUnited States of America
    PublisherCouncil on Foreign Relations
    Pages25-28
    Publication statusPublished - 2017

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