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A timely look at the impact of China’s booming emergence on the countries of Southeast Asia
“An expert and lucid synthesis of the historical context and recent developments of Southeast Asia’s rich and complex relations with Beijing.”—John Reed, Financial Times
Today, Southeast Asia stands uniquely exposed to the waxing power of the new China. Three of its nations border China and five are directly impacted by its claims over the South China Sea. All dwell in the lengthening shadow of its influence: economic, political, military, and cultural. As China seeks to restore its former status as Asia’s preeminent power, the countries of Southeast Asia face an increasingly stark choice: flourish within Beijing’s orbit or languish outside of it. Meanwhile, as rival powers including the United States take concerted action to curb Chinese ambitions, the region has emerged as an arena of heated strategic competition.
Drawing on more than a decade of on-the-ground experience, Sebastian Strangio explores the impacts of China’s rise on Southeast Asia, the varied ways in which the countries of the region are responding, and what it might mean for the future balance of power in the Indo-Pacific.
About the Author
Sebastian Strangio is a journalist focusing on Southeast Asia. Since 2008, he has written for leading publications including the New York Times, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and the Nikkei Asian Review. He is also the author of Hun Sen’s Cambodia.
“[P]rovides an expert and lucid synthesis of the historical context and recent developments of south-east Asia’s rich and complex relations with Beijing”—John Reed, Financial Times
"In the Dragon's Shadow is a very ambitious book but one that meets the challenge with carefully weighted judgement, insight and panache.”—Malcolm Cook, Contemporary Southeast Asia
“Well-researched...A book that should prove valuable to the incoming Biden administration in the vacuum left by the abdication of the Trump administration across the region…The sum and substance of Strangio’s book is that the countries of Southeast Asia remain in an uneasy embrace from a country that seemingly has little sense of how to wield its power.”—John Berthelsen, Asia Sentinel
"A very relevant work...Chapter by chapter, Strangio provides valuable insights into the countries of Southeast Asia."—Manya Koetse, What's on Weibo
“Comprehensive...meticulously researched"—Ron Gluckman, Nikkei Asia
“Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year”—Kaiser Kuo, Sinica
“Balanced and well-informed...The work of a journalist with an excellent grip on history”—Frank Beyer, Asian Review of Books
“An outstanding explanation of how eight Southeast Asian countries have perceived China’s rise in the region”—Dr. Jagannath Panda, Strategic Analysis
"Superbly researched... Could not be more timely and important.”—Sholto Byrnes, The National
"A serious and rewarding account of China’s history, influence and possible future in South-East Asia, with little treasures scattered throughout...In the Dragon’s Shadow is a new entry on the “must-read” list. For those already entranced, it should become a well-thumbed reference of ideas, dates, quotes and further reading.."—Liam Cochrane, Australian Current Affairs,
“Strangio, who spent over a decade in the region, knows his terrain well and guides us through the particularities of each country’s choice, or dilemma, with an eye to the big picture of the Indo-Pacific.”—Alec Ash, The Wire
‘A superbly well-informed, judicious and eloquent guide to the most important region in the world.’—Pankaj Mishra
‘A penetrating tour de force. It will be a very long time before there is a better account of the past and present dynamics of the ever-more contested sphere of influence to China’s south.’ —Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr., former US Assistant Secretary of Defense
‘Indispensable for understanding one of the most important and often most misinterpreted stories of our day.’— Thant Myint-U, author of The Hidden History of Burma
‘A candid and sometimes harrowing inside-look at China’s rise in the region.’ — Brian Eyler, author of Last Days of the Mighty Mekong
‘A timely, deftly-researched, and provocative examination into one of the critical issues of our time.’— Joshua Kurlantzick, Senior Fellow for Southeast Asia, Council on Foreign Relations