China Power

China and Southeast Asia

Is China’s rise in Southeast Asia imperialist or peaceful? A top Chinese researcher will answer your questions.

Next Tuesday, my colleague Pete Martin and I will be interviewing a Chinese expert on Southeast Asia, Tang Qifang, for our series of interviews with Chinese academics for the Lowy Interpreter. The interview will also be reposted here at China Power. As always, readers are invited to send in questions for the interview by e-mailing [email protected] .

Southeast Asia will be an important region to watch in coming years, and China’s actions have the power to reshape the region’s politics. At the nexus of China, India, and the US-dominated Pacific Ocean, the region has been recently called ‘the future of conflict,’ as established and emerging superpowers compete for influence among the region’s sometimes unstable countries.

As a resurgent China has gained confidence, it has become more aggressive in the region – and is hitting some rough patches. China has been accused of present-day imperialism by its Southeast Asian neighbours, while incidents like this year’s standoff with Vietnam over the unresolved maritime border have called into question China's peaceful intentions.

Tang Qifang has studied and worked on many of these issues as a researcher at The China Institute of International Studies, affiliated with the Foreign Ministry. Our interview with Tang is a chance for readers outside China to learn about these issues from the Chinese side – so send your question to [email protected].