This chapter examines the key enduring features of South-East Asia and how these relate to China. It traces the evolution of China-South-East Asia relations from the end of the Cold War through to the early 2000s, a timeframe marked by China’s growing comfort in dealing with the world on its own terms. The chapter explores China-South-East Asia relations from the early 2000s to the present, a period when China is increasingly demonstrating its confidence as a major power in world affairs. South-East Asia is a region that perhaps encapsulates many of the challenges a rising China has to face elsewhere in the world. Trade and investment with South-East Asia led part of China’s renewed economic push in 1992, and helped Beijing break out of its post-Tiananmen isolation. China became and remained the top economic partner for most of South-East Asia from 2000 to 2012, and played a key role in the region’s recovery from the Asian Financial Crisis.