ASEAN Centre in MGIMO-University the MFA of Russia


Under China’s Shadow: Southeast Asia's China Challenge


On August 17th, 2020 Associate Professor of the Department of Asian and African Studies, the ASEAN Centre’s Senior Expert Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova participated in the international online-discussion dedicated to the book launch “Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia's China Challenge” (authored by Murray Hiebert, Center for Strategic and International Studies, the USA).

The author presented the main ideas of a just released book and outlined the key trends in the relations between China and Southeast Asia. The book presentation was followed by the Q&A session during which participants had an opportunity to discuss the current state of China-Southeast Asia relations as the book was published right before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The participants discussed a number of topics including the pandemic’s impact on the Chinese projects in the region, international production chains and trade contacts, China’s assertive foreign policy in Southeast Asia and the issues of transboundary water governance in the Mekong River Basin.

The future prospects of Chinese projects in the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative as well as possible changes in the USA position towards the region in case of Joseph Biden’s victory in the presidential elections also became a focus of discussion. Dr. Ekaterina Koldunova queried to what extent China was responsive to Southeast Asian states concerns while promoting its projects in the region and the ways these states reacted if the projects’ conditions turned out to be unfavorable for them.