The Trump administration's foreign policy approach was protectionist and bilateral, creating uncertainty as to whether the US would assist vulnerable neighboring nations by constraining China, the world's rising power. Hiebert (Center for Strategic and International Studies) asks how Southeast Asian nations have fared meanwhile. He has extensive journalistic experience in Southeast Asia and China, and bases the volume on interviews with principals, regional surveys, and traditional and social media. An introduction recounts diverse experiences of the nations involved with China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Each of the next 10 chapters is a case study of an ASEAN member, describing its history, type of government, proximity to China, size of economy, and relations with external states (e.g., the US). A concluding chapter explains how China exploits competition and distrust among ASEAN states "working with each of them bilaterally ... to 'divide and conquer' and play them off against each other" as in the South China sea conflict. The credible advice is that leaders should share knowledge and forge a multilateral policy toward China shared across the Southeast Asian region. Recommended. — Choice Reviews
"Masterful and monumental. . . detailed and nuanced. . . . Hiebert is particularly adept at exposing the undercurrents, which he aptly describes as “the complex cocktail of hope and anxiety,” “anticipation and uneasiness,” that lies beneath the surface of China’s relations with its smaller southern neighbors. . . such as Cambodia and Laos. Among the strongest sections of Hiebert’s book are those in which he examines these countries, exposing the complexity of attitudes toward China and how small nations can still exercise agency despite their dependence on Beijing.— Foreign Affairs
Hiebert analyses the relationship between China and Southeast Asia as Beijing continues to step up its activities in the region, detailing how ten countries' experience with the emerging superpower has shaped their perceptions of it. The author suggests ways these countries could address what he calls the 'China challenge'.— Survival: Global Politics and Strategy
Hiebert has summoned his nearly two decades of reporting and impressive contemporary research to produce a book that will serve as a benchmark for the new era dawning in Asia. . . . Hiebert’s calm, balanced and rich perspective on the most urgent question facing Southeast Asia is a must-read.— Strategic Review
Six hundred million people, three trillion dollar economy and strategic location – all reasons to pay close attention to Southeast Asia. This has been accomplished in fine fashion by Murray Hiebert. What sets him apart is he observes as a journalist, elicits facts, and reports them. You feel the growing influence of China on all aspects of Southeast Asia life… security, infrastructure, finance. Murray outlines the difficult choices each of the ten nations have as they wrestle with the promise and challenge of the bulk of China. Who better to do this than someone with 45 years of experience in the region? This book matters.
— Richard Armitage, former assistant secretary of State
The next century will be defined by geopolitical competition in Asia and answering the ‘China Challenge.’ Murray Hiebert does a terrific job of examining the history and the importance of a region that will be critical to US national and economic security. This work will help to develop a better model of engaging and thinking critically about Southeast Asia and China for scholars and policymakers alike. His work is clear: the future of the West will be met in the East.
— U.S. Senator Cory Gardner
Murray Hiebert weaves together a compelling and comprehensive portrait of Southeast Asia’s complex relationship with China. This book draws on both historical context and recent developments to provide valuable insight into the balancing acts by regional governments seeking both benefits and protection from their powerful northern neighbor. “Under Beijing’s Shadow” is an indispensable and enlightening read for anyone who seeks to understand this important region at a moment when major powers are increasingly vying for influence and access.
— Danny Russel, former U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asia and the Pacific
Murray Hiebert has done a great deal of research for this book that widens, deepens and updates his already extensive knowledge of China’s activities in Southeast Asia. The book is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the successes and shortcomings of China’s attempt to dominate its neighborhood to the south
— Dennis Blair, former U.S. director of national intelligence and former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific
This book is an extensive take on the geopolitical milieu of Southeast Asia in the face of China's aggressive expansion. It is an engaging take on the existing balance of power in Southeast Asia and is an essential read for those who want to dive deeper into the region's political narrative.
— Albert del Rosario, former Philippine secretary of foreign affairs
This fine book illuminates the economic, geopolitical and strategic challenges facing SE Asia, as China’s bilateral preferences increasingly influence each nation’s domestic and foreign policies, undermining a concerted regional response, and United States positioning inspires little long-term confidence. The most economically dynamic part of the world hangs in the balance.
— Charlene Barshevsky, former U.S. Trade Representative
A significant and valuable work on a complex subject matter with resonance far beyond the region. Illuminating.
— Marty Natalegawa, former Indonesian foreign minister
Having lived and worked in Southeast Asia as a journalist for more than two decades, Murray Hiebert has skillfully drawn on his personal experience there as well as his contacts with regional government and academic leaders to produce a fascinating analysis of how differences in history, religion, economics, and geographic proximity to China have shaped the diverse views that the ten nations comprising ASEAN have of China today. Under Beijing’s Shadow: Southeast Asia’s China Challenge is an invaluable roadmap for policy makers and business leader to understand and respond to the opportunities and risks that confront the region that currently is the world’s fastest growing consumer market.
— Carla Hills, former U.S. Trade Representative