Podcast: The Race for Strategic Alliances in Southeast Asia

Podcast: The Race for Strategic Alliances in Southeast Asia

U.S. President Donald Trump and U.S. first lady Melania Trump greet Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-Cha and his wife Naraporn Chan-o-Cha at the White House in Washington, U.S., October 2, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts
from Asia Unbound

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Situated in the heart of Southeast Asia, Thailand occupies a crucial geopolitical space in the region and is a major gateway to ASEAN markets. For years, it has maintained a balancing act between the U.S., its formal treaty ally, and China, its largest trading partner. But Thailand’s most recent coup—the 19th since 1932—has chilled the U.S.-Thai relationship, leaving Bangkok closer to Beijing. In his new book, Thailand: Shifting Ground Between the US and a Rising China, author Benjamin Zawacki argues that the United States needs to reexamine this critical alliance before it is usurped by a rising China. Listen to this week’s Asia Unbound podcast to hear why and how the United States should reinvigorate this important relationship.

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Elizabeth C. Economy

C. V. Starr Senior Fellow and Director for Asia Studies