Will China’s ‘COVID-aid’ offensive reshape ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific Outlook?

Will China’s ‘COVID-aid’ offensive reshape ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific Outlook?
By Dr Poppy S Winanti on 18 May 2020

Indo-Pacific | International Relations

Dr. Poppy Winanti is part of our inaugural Indo-Pacific Fellows program for 2020. Over the coming months, our Indo-Pacific Fellows will be offering expert analyses of social, political, economic and security developments from the region. They will contribute analysis briefs, blogs, interviews, webinars and explainers to the Centre’s programs.

Will China’s ‘COVID-aid’ offensive reshape ASEAN’s Indo-Pacific Outlook? is the fourth instalment from our Fellows program and discusses how China has used ‘COVID-aid’ as a means to build diplomatic relationships.



Southeast Asian governments – which are badly affected by the pandemic – have been the leading recipients of this aid. It comes at a time when ASEAN is attempting to reappraise its position with respect to the US and China, given accelerating competition between the two powers.

Will China’s assistance strengthen the ASEAN’s commitment to an Indo-Pacific outlook? Or will it create more complicated relations between ASEAN member countries and China, as well as the US?

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