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Malaysia Between China and the West: Don't Rock the Boat

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journal contribution
posted on 2024-02-06, 01:58 authored by James ChinJames Chin

When it comes to great power rivalry in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a prime example of a middle power trying to negotiate between the West––principally led by the United States––and China. The experience of Malaysia is of course not unique: the challenge the country faces, being pressured by both the United States and China into supporting one side over the other, is similar to those facing many other countries in the region.
In this short article, I will lay out the reasons as to why Malaysian middlepowership has led it to pursue a policy of strategic ambiguity in the context of the South China Sea, and to pursue a “low-profile” approach to competition between the United States, its allies, and China more broadly.

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Sub-type

  • Article

Publication title

Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs

Volume

9

Editors

J Fraser

Pagination

43-50:7

Department/School

Politics and International Relations

Publisher

Asian Studies Program, Georgetown Universtiy

Publication status

  • Published online

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