Special Forum

As the US-China rivalry intensifies amid the COVID-19 crisis, more observers have opined that the “hedging” by smaller states—widely interpreted as a “middle position” between being fully aligned with the US camp and fully bandwagoning with China—is irrelevant, irresponsible, and even dangerous. I engage this debate from a Southeast Asian perspective, addressing the what, how, and why questions surrounding hedging in post-pandemic Asia. I contend that hedging is likely to become even more prevalent at a time of great uncertainty.

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