“Hedging” di Laut China Selatan: Analisis Tindakan Negara-Negara Asia Tenggara (Hedging In The South China Sea: Analyzing Southeast Asian States’ Policy Actions)

Kuik Cheng-Chwee, Ruhanie Ahmad

Abstract


Management of the South China Sea disputes must consider the “hedging” behavior of the claimant and non-claimant countries. This behavior is characterized by an insistence on not aligning with any of the competing powers, through intentionally contradictory actions to offset multiple risks, or through a continuous effort to maintain a fallback position. Indeed, in the face of China’s increasingly assertive actions and U.S. Indo-Pacific strategy, nearly all the states in the region have avoided “balancing” (fully aligning with the U.S. to check China) and none of them have adopted “bandwagoning” (fully aligning with China for economic reasons but at the expense of autonomy and other national interests). Instead the Southeast Asian states have insisted on hedging. This paper argues that this proclivity to hedge is a result of both structural and domestic factors. Structurally, the high uncertainties surrounding China’s intentions, U.S. commitment, and future U.S.-China ties have compelled the smaller states to avoid putting all their eggs in either power’s basket. Domestically, for their political legitimation, the ruling elites in the states hedge to offset multiple risks and pursue mixed policies.

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JEBAT : Malaysian Journal of History, Politics & Strategic Studies, 
Center for Research in History, Politics and International Affairs,
Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, 
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 43600 UKM, Bangi Selangor, Malaysia.

eISSN: 2180-02551

ISSN: 012-5644