TodayChina and US play as the most influential and powerful role in the world. TheUS standing as the world leading icon since 1890 according to its economicproductivity and military power. On the other hand, China, since its economicreforms in 1978, also emerges as a one of superpower countries. In 2000s, the rapid growth of Chineseeconomy enhances its political power within the global arena.
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During the last quarter of the twentiethcentury, most Asian developing countries have the experiences of transformationsin political and economic sectors. The rapid growth of Chinese economic poweraffected on the politics and economy of these developing countries, especiallySoutheast Asia countries. Meanwhile, the world leading power, the U. S emergedto balance Chinese power in Asia and Southeast Asia. The Southeast Asia countries have intended to expand itseconomic and political reforms through the power balance of the world powers, the U. S and China.
This paper will explain about the role ofSoutheast Asian countries between the China and U. S, how can the power balanceof these two economic effects on the regional economic and politicalsectors. 2. The importance of The Southeast AsiaRegion The SoutheastAsian countries, playing as the vital role, were colonized by Europeancountries since 17th centuries because its maritime access betweenWestern and Eastern world, and rich in natural resource. After the World WarII, the maritime route of the Southeast Asian countries plays the mostimportant role in the expansion of the world trade. Therefore, their rolesbecame transformation into economic hub. 1 The locationof Southeast Asia countries crate to play a pivotal among the internationaleconomic rivalry. Myanmar, Laos andVietnam can connect China through not only the Asian Highways but also inlandwaterways.
In addition, the landlocked Yunna of China can connect to the IndianOcean through the west costal exist in Myanmar. The SoutheastAsia contries’ strategic location and rich in natural resources create thedesire for this China and the U. S. 3. China’s concerns about the SoutheastAsia Region Since 1970s, DengXiaoping’s open door policy introduced a market-oriented economic system toreform the China economy. The construction of Special Economic Zones alongChina’s southern coastline to increase foreign trade is the first step of itsnewly economic policy. 2After that, China opened its economic investment around the world throughinternational trade. In order to gain Chinese economic policygoals, the Southeast Asian countries play as a crucial role for China.
As thelarge portion of oil imports are from Africa and West Asia through the IndianOcean, Southeast Asian countries are the main ports for China to meet theenergy security of its large populaion. Among the Southeast Asian countries, Myanmar is the only shortcut to the Indian Ocean through Yunan. ThroughKyaukphyu deep sea port, China could not only import oil and gas for its energy needs but also export its goods tothe west Asia and the middle east countires. 3 Through the connectons of ASEAN countriessuch as ASEAN Free Trade Area and Greater Maekong Subregions, China could meetboosts in domestic and international investment as its cheap goods can exportto Myanmar, Laos and Thailand.
The development of investment and trade betweenthe Southeast Asian developing countries and China mutually benefited totheir social and economic stabilities. 4 To engage the economic cooperations between China and ASEAN, thetwo parties signed the agreement to establish the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (ACFTA) on 1 January 2010. 5 Now a day, soft power plays an importantrole in international relations.
China gained international attentions by itssoft power, “ economy”. Today, China can stand on the list of world largesteconomy. According to the IMF datas, China’s economy increase by 6% in 2016while the U. S is 1. 6%.
China has overcome United States and rated on the top ofeconomic in International Monetary Fund based on purchasing power parity (PPP)of GDP indicator. It is the world’s second largest economy by normal GDPaccording of 2016 data. As China is now gain as world’s second largest economy, some also thought that BRIC Countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China willdominant the world in the future.
4. U. S’sconcern about the Southeast Asia Region Sincethe end of the Cold War, the United State has stand standing as solesuperpower. After the power expansion to middle east, though the U. S has metfinancial difficulties and that leads to decline in domestic economy, it stillline in world largest economies.
US economy is still the foundation for theglobal financial system. Development and possession of nuclear weapon can bealso count on as a military power in this era. It has 11 aircrafts carriers andcovered from two ocean and two friendly neighbours Canada and Mexico. US spend36% of world’s military expenditure.
The world’s military expenditure isextimate1686 billion in 2016 (SIPRI Fact Sheet, 2017).