As US-China great power rivalry intensifies, smaller states in Southeast Asia seek a way to thrive, not just survive
- Lucio Blanco Pitlo III
Small states matter in big-power rivalry. This was one key takeaway from the 18th Shangri-La Dialogue held recently in Singapore. As US-China rivalry intensifies, small states worry that their room for manoeuvre may diminish and they may be compelled to make difficult choices. To address this, they should work together as a group to increase their leverage and raise their influence as they deal with major powers.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong argues that while small states may seem powerless in the face of two opposing elephants, they are not entirely without agency. Photo Source: South China Morning Post