Developing the Mekong: Regionalism and Regional Security in China–Southeast Asian Relations, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Developing the Mekong

Regionalism and Regional Security in China–Southeast Asian Relations, 1st Edition

By Evelyn Goh


74 pages

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Paperback: 9780415438735
pub: 2007-06-21
Hardback: 9781138406162
pub: 2017-06-28
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In Southeast Asia, China’s growing economic and political strength has been accompanied by adept diplomacy and active promotion of regional cooperation, institutions and integration. Southeast Asian states and China engage in ‘strategic regionalism’: they seek regional membership for regime legitimation and collective bargaining; and regional integration to enhance economic development, regarded as essential for ensuring national and regime security. Sino-Southeast Asian regionalism is exemplified by the development plans for the Mekong River basin, where ambitious projects for building regional infrastructural linkages and trade contribute to mediating the security concerns of the Mekong countries. However, Mekong regionalism also generates new insecurities. Developing the resources of the Mekong has led to serious challenges in terms of governance, distribution and economic externalities. Resource-allocation and exploitation conflicts occur most obviously within the realm of water projects, especially hydropower development programmes. While such disputes are not likely to erupt into armed conflict because of the power asymmetry between China and the lower Mekong states, they exacerbate Southeast Asian concerns about China’s rise and undermine Chinese rhetoric about peaceful development. But the negative security consequences of developing the Mekong are also due to the shared economic imperative, and the Southeast Asian states’ own difficulties with collective action due to existing intramural conflicts.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1. The Regionalism–Security Nexus in China’s Relations with Southeast Asia 2. The Mekong Region 3. Development Cooperation and Regionalism 4. Regionalism and Regional Security Conclusion

About the Author

Evelyn Goh is a University Lecturer in International Relations at St Anne's College, Oxford.

About the Series

Adelphi series

The Adelphi series is The International Institute for Strategic Studies' flagship contribution to policy-relevant, original academic research.

Six books are published each year. They provide rigorous analysis of contemporary strategic and defence topics that is useful to politicians and diplomats, as well as academic researchers, foreign-affairs analysts, defence commentators and journalists.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security