ChinaFile: Three Questions for China’s Neighbors
Fri February, 2022, Age: 1 year
China was, is, and will always be a good neighbor,” China’s leader Xi Jinping told ASEAN representatives in a November 2021 virtual meeting, after a series of conflicts over Beijing’s territorial claims in the South China Sea had raised tensions.
But China’s neighbors aren’t always so sure, in an era of growing Chinese assertiveness under Xi’s leadership. China remains the top trading partner throughout much of Asia, but many individual Asian states seek to counterbalance China’s influence with stronger relations with the United States and, in some cases, with other regional powers. Some strive for a balance, and don’t want to be forced to choose one side or another.