Southeast Asia And Australia

Southeast Asia And Australia

The region stretches from the Indochinese Peninsula through the Indonesian archipelago all the way to Australia, forming the dividing line between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. This area is very diverse – geographically, culturally and historically. What the region’s countries have in common is their largest trading partner: China. Beijing’s assertive policymaking is the most important strategic issue in the region.

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Map showing the location of Ream Naval Base, Sihanoukville and Dara Sakor

Cambodia works to balance regional powers

With a reported deal to allow the Chinese military access to a key naval base, Cambodia has gained the attention of those following the Sino-U.S. rivalry. For Phnom Penh, however, its partnership with Beijing is about carefully balancing Vietnam and Thailand, two strong regional powers with which it still has tensions. Cambodia shares a broad spectrum of interests with China, to a degree that the U.S., EU and Japan do not.

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