"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075. Published since July 1957.

"Asia and Africa today" № 8 2020





Аuthor Alexander S. KOROLEV
Post-graduate Student, Junior Research Fellow, Centre for Comprehensive European and International Studies, National Research University Higher School of Economics ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

Anastasiia M. APASOVA
BA Student, National Research University Higher School of Economics (amapasova@edu. hse.ru)

   The conflict of interests of the USA and China in the Southeast Asia was initially instigated by the creation of a “security void” in the region after the end of the Cold War. Today the states’ political claims do not seem to be limited, provoking on the contrary, new edition of rivalry and setting new agenda for further clashes. In a situation of confrontation between the two powers, such regional players as ASEAN are, on the one hand, forced to look for the ways of mitigating the negative consequences of the conflict, as well as of maintaining control over regional processes. On the other hand, the regional actors may benefit from the continuing rivalry of the two economic giants by attracting investment from both sides as well as by getting more opportunities to expand regional cooperation. This article explores key aspects of the US - China rivalry in the region - the clash of interests in the South China Sea, the Indo-Pacific format initiated by the United States, as well as the contemporary trade war - and examines the ASEAN’s response to aforementioned challenges. Since the transition of relations between Washington and Beijing into the phase of uncontrolled confrontation poses a serious challenge to the long-term development of the ASEAN, some assumptions are made regarding the Association’s key strategies over the next 5-10 years. Provided that the USA and China remain in competition for Southeast Asia, the possible political course of ASEAN is likely to be focused either on stepping up efforts to engage the US and China in regional security institutions, or on soft balancing between the US and China, involving also other “third actors” like Japan, India, Australia and Russia.

Keywords: ASEAN, the USA, China, Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), South China Sea, Indo-Pacific region
Pages 13-19