US Popularity In The Asean region

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With the rise of China, the US has found new challenges in the Asean. But the Asean is also discovering new challenges from the US-Asean cooperation and this is affecting relations in some ways.

Particularly with the terms and conditions attached to US investment in the region that may not match the demands for cash flow from some Asean nations.

Nevertheless, Economic and geopolitical challenges increased with time, and the wars in the Middle East did not help the US in its popularity contest in the region in the long run.

In contrast to the invasion of Iraq, touted as the liberation of Kuwait and which gained support in countries like Malaysia or Indonesia, the same was not the case with the 2003 invasion of Baghdad.

From 911 onwards, the popularity of the US in the region went down the hill as people and governments refused to follow the antics and wars of the new ‘policeman’ of the world.

US Popularity and Vietnam

In Vietnam, the sentiments can be different because they see the Chinese encroachments in the South China Sea as a violation of international law and treaties.

The Philippines felt that way too and they went to the Arbitrary court to get the redress they won and this sent China into a voluntary recalibration of its presence in the seas.

But with the US and other nations unable to enforce the Philippine’s win at the Arbitrary court, the Chinese did not have to roll back their presence, they limited the incidents and drew new lines while they expect the world to abide by those.

In the meantime, the Philippines too abandoned its efforts to get what it wanted at the Arbitrary Court, that is the removal of China from some shores. China won. 

The surveys showing the US gaining ground in the Asean are not going to help the US make real economic or geopolitical gains, unfortunately.

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