China and Southeast Asia
DOI link for China and Southeast Asia
China and Southeast Asia book
China's international hydro-politics constitutes only one issue-area in the wide field of China's foreign policy. Similarly, China's relations with the Mekong downstream riparian countries (MDRCs) of Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are only one mosaic in China's regional diplomacy around its vast periphery. This chapter provides an overview of China's overall foreign policy objectives as well as of the role of Southeast Asia for China. It also provides an overview of China's relations with the MDRCs apart from specifically water-related aspects, that is, in terms of broader political, economic, and security aspects in particular. The Chinese leadership has long realized that apart from its relationship to the world's great powers, it is the relations with its mostly smaller neighboring countries that – alone due to the geographical proximity – are crucial for the achievement of China's long-term foreign policy priorities. The protection of China's sovereignty and territorial integrity has been a core national interest for the People's Republic.