Why SE Asia is emerging as a battleground in the China-US rivalry

National flags and the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) logo on display ahead of the 27th ASEAN summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Southeast Asia is getting more attention as competition between China and the United States heats up. The vast, diverse region of emerging markets is shaping up as a key geopolitical and economic battleground, but it may also offer opportunities for Sino-U.S. collaboration, analysts said.

In the most recent sign of the area’s importance, Indonesian President Joko Widodo made the first state visit by a foreign leader to China since the Winter Olympics in February. During his two days in Beijing starting July 25, Widodo met with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. The sessions “underscored the great importance attached by the two countries on bilateral relations,” Xi said.

Bring stories like this into your inbox every day.

Sign up for our newsletter - The Daily Brief
Subscribe to Newsletter