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Dividing ASEAN and Conquering the South China SeaChina's Financial Power Projection$
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Daniel C. O'Neill

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888455966

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888455966.001.0001

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Dividing ASEAN and the Limits to China’s Influence Abroad

Dividing ASEAN and the Limits to China’s Influence Abroad

(p.214) 9 Dividing ASEAN and the Limits to China’s Influence Abroad
Dividing ASEAN and Conquering the South China Sea

Daniel C. O'Neill

Hong Kong University Press

The chapter summarizes the book’s findings on China’s efforts to divide ASEAN and conquer the South China Sea, using variation in member state’s reactions to the decision in favor of the Philippines by the tribunal at the Permanent Court of Arbitration to illustrate the impact of China’s influence. The book concludes that because of the inherent differences within ASEAN, especially in political institutions, as well as the intrinsic difficulties of effective multilateralism and collective action, ASEAN will be unlikely to come together to force China to the negotiating table, as long as China wishes to resist taking a seat. The chapter notes that China’s efforts to influence states in the region have not always been successful, as the case studies illustrate; China has advantages in influencing developing state, authoritarian governments but faces more and higher hurdles in its efforts to influence developing state governments operating within relatively democratic institutions. A brief comparative analysis of China’s bilateral relations in Latin America suggests that the book’s findings are generalizable to China’s relations with developing states globally. The book concludes that the potential evolution of political institutions toward democracy is a form of long-term political risk facing Chinese efforts to influence developing state governments.

Keywords:   ASEAN, Cambodia, China, Ecuador, Latin America, Myanmar, Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA), Philippines, South China Sea, UNCLOS, Venezuela

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