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Distinguishing Mainland from Maritime Southeast Asia: How Much Does It Matter?

This event is part of Shorenstein APARC’s fall webinar series “Shifting Geopolitics and U.S.-Asia Relations”

Chair/discussant:  Donald K. Emmerson, director, Southeast Asia Program, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center, Stanford University

Topic:  Analysts of Southeast Asia, struggling to find commonalities that its eleven diverse countries share, have long distinguished the region’s mainland from its maritime portions. Aspects of the contrast include the mainland’s greater proximity to China. A controversial hypothesis follows: that subcontinental Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, and possibly Thailand (but arguably not Vietnam) are more likely to become peninsular parts of a sphere of influence overseen by China than are the region’s more insular or archipelagic countries—Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Timor-Leste. In support of the mainland versus maritime distinction, historical, cultural, and socioeconomic differences can also be cited. But how much do they really matter? Does the mainland-maritime contrast, for example, enhance or impede the ability of Southeast Asian countries to retain national independence and fashion a common front in defense of the autonomy of their region?  Or is location irrelevant?  And if other factors matter more, which ones, how, and why? The webinar will offer and explore answers to these and related questions.

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Sep 22 2020


Time stated in HST.
1:30 PM - 2:45 PM

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