When the U.S. Senate voted to expand NATO into the USSR’s sphere of influence in Europe in 1988, American diplomat-scholar George Kennan called it "the beginning of a new [U.S.-Russia] cold war” and said that Moscow would “gradually react quite adversely." Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022 following a joint statement by Moscow and Beijing criticizing the United States. In May 2022, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi said U.S.-China relations were on the "brink of a new Cold War.” What does this mean for Southeast Asians? Are they refusing to choose between the United States and its opponents? How much does the fate of Ukraine matter to Southeast Asians? Do they want peace or justice—to prevent big-power escalation or to reverse imperial expansion? How are they balancing those different views and the contending pressures to side with the United States or Russia+China?
This event is part of APARC’s 2022 Fall webinar series, Asian Perspectives on the US-China Competition.
is a Manila-based scholar and columnist serving as a senior lecturer at the Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. His academic career has included professorial positions in political and social science at the University of the Philippines, Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, and a visiting fellowship at National Chengchi University. As a columnist, he has written for leading publications such as Foreign Affairs, The Guardian, and The New York Times, and has regularly contributed, for example, to Al Jazeera English, Nikkei Asian Review, South China Morning Post, and The Straits Times. His books include The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China, and the New Struggle for Global Mastery (2019); The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt against Elite Democracy (2017), and Asia's New Battlefield: The USA, China and the Struggle for the Western Pacific (2015).
Huong Le Thu
, an Australia-resident analyst of geopolitics in Southeast Asia, is a principal policy fellow at the Perth USAsia Centre, University of Western Australia and a non-resident fellow in CSIS Washington’s Southeast Asia Program. She has worked in universities and think tanks in Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan, and has held visiting positions in the University of Malaya and the ASEAN Secretariat among other places. Her scholarly writings have appeared in journals including Asia Policy, Asia-Pacific Review, Asian Security, and Foreign Policy, and she has been quoted in the Financial Times, The Japan Times, The New York Times, The Straits Times, and The Washington Post among other media. Her degrees are from the National Chengchi University (PhD) and Jagiellonian University in Poland (MA). She speaks five languages and has published in four of them.