The rivalry between America and China will hinge on South-East Asia
Are China’s advantages in the tussle as big as they seem? "People across South-East Asia already see America and China as two poles, pulling their countries in opposite directions. Those protesting against the recent military coup in Myanmar, for example, hold up angry placards that attack China for backing the generals and pleading ones that beg America to intervene. Governments feel under pressure to pick sides. In 2016 Rodrigo Duterte, the president of the Philippines, loudly announced his country’s 'separation from America' and pledged allegiance to China instead. China’s claim that almost all the South China Sea lies within its territorial waters and America’s rejection of that assertion have sparked blazing rows in the main regional club, the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), which China has attempted to win over."
From The Economist