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Geo-economic Contest in Southeast Asia: Great Power Politics through the Prism of Trade, Investments and Aid

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  • December 16, 2019

    Associate Fellow, IDSA, Dr. Titli Basu’s research paper titled, ‘Geo-economic Contest in Southeast Asia: Great Power Politics through the Prism of Trade, Investments and Aid’ was published in The SAGE Handbook of Asian Foreign Policy, edited by Takashi Inoguchi, 465-499. London: SAGE Publications, 2019.

    Situating the study in Sino-US strategic rivalry, the paper evaluates how major powers employ instruments of economic statecraft including trade, investments, development aid and infrastructure financing in pursuit of their respective national interests and strategic objectives in the Southeast Asian theatre? The paper analyses trends in trade and investments towards the region; politics of developmental aid; and further evaluates agenda-setting and politics of exclusion in regional economic integration through mega-FTAs. Aligning with the larger geopolitical ambitions of major powers, it explores the fierce contest for infrastructure financing in Southeast Asia and decodes China’s AIIB challenge to Bretton Woods system. Subsequently it unpacks the differences in Chinese and Japanese approach to infrastructure building with special focus on High Speed Railway (HSR) and strategic port building.

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