Why Southeast Asian Navies will Hold Exercises with the US After the Same with China

First military exercises between the United States and a bloc of 10 Southeast Asian nations, following the same bloc’s drills with China last year, show that both superpowers increasingly hope to influence a part of the world that could swing either way,U.S. military officials and counterparts from the Southeast Asian bloc that includes Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines will hold exercises in the first week of September near Thailand, multiple Asian media outlets reported last week, It’s just diplomatic smoke signals and should not be taken beyond that, but even as a diplomatic smoke signal it has to be seriously by China,” said Alan Chong, associate professor at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. “So, I think China will take it seriously to be aware they haven’t quite cornered ASEAN as an ally.” Southeast Asian association that has a combined 630 million population and is better known as just ASEAN conducted naval exercises with China in October 2018.......................


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