BY LT. GEN. SUSAN S. LAWRENCE, USA (RET.) NOV 01, 2023
The United States is losing the battle for influence in Southeast Asia, an area strategically vital in the larger Indo-Pacific region, according to a recent study by the Lowy Institute, an independent think tank in Sydney, Australia.
The study, Asia Power Snapshot: China and the United States in Southeast Asia, found that the United States lost influence to China over the past five years in four categories: economic relationships, defense networks, diplomatic impact and cultural influence. The institute measures influence through an Asia power index with a total of 100 points available on each measure. In 2018, China led the United States 52-48; in 2022, that lead increased to 54-46.