Defense Cooperation between China and ASEAN Countries
Since the beginning of the 21st Century, CHINA-ASEAN relations have entered into a period of rapid and all-round development, with their cooperation being hailed as a demonstration of China’s cooperation with neighboring and developing countries. Defense cooperation between China and ASEAN started relatively late compared to their political and economic cooperation, and yet through the efforts of both parties, it has achieved substantial progress, and represents a tremendous potential. The defense cooperation, in deepening the strategic trust between China and ASEAN with the intention of establishing a strategic partnership, has played a crucial role in pushing the CHINA-ASEAN relationship to a higher level. A systematic summing up of the recent years’ development in the CHINAASEAN defense relations, looking at the reasons for its development and the challenges it poses, will be important both for our understanding and for drawing practical conclusions.
Main Features of CHINA-ASEAN Defense Cooperation
Due to a lack of mutual trust and the sensitivity of the issue, defense cooperation has lagged behind in China’s relations with most Southeast Asian nations. During the Cold War, China’s relations with both Vietnam and Indonesia deteriorated to the point of rupture. China had not yet established diplomatic relations with Singapore and Brunei, and it belonged to the Liu Lin is Associate Research Fellow at the Institute of Foreign Military Studies, Academy of Military Science of the People’s Liberation Army of China.