Southeast Asia And Australia

Southeast Asia And Australia

The region stretches from the Indochinese Peninsula through the Indonesian archipelago all the way to Australia, forming the dividing line between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. This area is very diverse – geographically, culturally and historically. What the region’s countries have in common is their largest trading partner: China. Beijing’s assertive policymaking is the most important strategic issue in the region.

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A woman working in a rice field, Can Tho, Vietnam

Vietnam’s place in the U.S.-China great power competition

As the rivalry between the U.S. and China heats up, Vietnam’s most important goal – to maintain autonomy – is becoming trickier. So far, close party ties have helped keep relations with Beijing cordial, despite fervent anti-China feeling among regular Vietnamese. If its northern neighbor increases the pressure however, especially on issues like the South China Sea and the Mekong River, Vietnam has made clear that it will explore other options, including closer ties with the U.S.

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