Picking up on the different strategic dynamics in Southeast Asia

Picking up on the different strategic dynamics in Southeast Asia
By Hayley Channer on 27 August 2021

South-East Asia | International Relations

In the first two-part deep dive on 15 Minutes in Canberra, Hayley interviews American PhD student, Hunter Marston. Before commencing his PhD, Hunter worked with the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C. and has lived and worked across Southeast Asia, including interning with the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar.

Strategic Dynamics in Southeast Asia – Part One, Myanmar 

In part one, Hunter discusses the incredible diversity of Southeast Asia, including the different perspectives of some countries towards US-China strategic competition. He also reflects on his experience conducting field research in Myanmar into how social media has been used to stir up religious tensions, such as in the lead up to the 2020 election. The episode concludes with Hunter’s analysis of the impact of recent U.S. sanctions on the Myanmar Junta.


Strategic Dynamics in Southeast Asia – Part Two, Singapore and Vietnam 

In part two, Hunter Marston highlights the interesting case of Singapore in US-China strategic tensions, as Singapore is both a strategic partner of the U.S. and has a majority ethnic Chinese population. He explains how Singapore is attempting to balance its ties with the U.S. and China as well as the potential for Southeast Asian nations generally to leverage major power competition towards their own interests.

Hunter goes on to explain Vietnam’s place as a frontline state in efforts to resist China’s expansion in the South China Sea or ‘East Sea’. He also reflects on differences between the U.S. and Australia in how they approach Southeast Asian policy. To conclude, Hunter imparts his career advice for aspiring Southeast Asian analysts.

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