“Regional Responses to China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative in Southeast Asia”

Shaofeng Chen
Publication Date: 
May 1st, 2018

Southeast Asia has sat atop China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI). By and large, most Southeast Asian countries hailed China’s MSRI, but their responses to it have some variances. The article aims to analyze why they have differing responses. It contends that the primary determinant is changing domestic politics, specifically, ruling elites’ policy priority, degree of trust of China, leaders’ ideology and preference, and social response. While rejecting the impact of trade imbalance and outward foreign direct investment (FDI) from China, the influence of the South China Sea dispute and America’s Asia policy have been partially verified.

*****This article flowed from a Wong MNC Center organized and co-sponsored conference in November 2016 on the Political Economy of China’s Maritime Silk Road Initiative (MSRI) and Southeast Asia hosted and co-sponsored by East China Normal University (Shanghai, China) and a Wong MNC Center organized and co-sponsored workshop in May 2017 hosted and co-sponsored by the Stanford University Asia-Pacific Research Center Southeast Asia Program (Stanford, California, USA). It is published in Journal of Contemporary China, Vol. 27, No. 111 (2018) and viewable at: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/10670564.2018.1410960. Copyright remains with the original holders.