Home News ASEAN countries leaning towards China, new poll reveals

ASEAN countries leaning towards China, new poll reveals

A recent survey by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies indicated a significant shift in strategic alliances within the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 

For the first time, a slight majority of respondents from the ten ASEAN member countries expressed a preference for aligning with China over the United States. 

The 2024 poll results show that 50.5 percent of those surveyed would choose China as their strategic partner, compared to 49.5 percent who would opt for the United States. 

This marks a considerable departure from the previous year’s figures, where only 38.9 percent favored China against a strong 61.1 percent showing for the U.S.

This dramatic shift is primarily attributed to changing sentiments in several key ASEAN countries. Notably, Laos, Indonesia, and Malaysia have seen a surge in pro-China sentiment, with increases in support ranging from 20 to 30 percentage points since 2023. 

Cambodia’s support for China also rose by approximately 18 percentage points, though it fell short of the majority threshold. 

Meanwhile, Thailand and Myanmar displayed a modest yet significant uptick in favorability towards China, with Thailand’s support crossing the halfway mark at 52 percent.

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Conversely, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Singapore remain steadfast in their preference for the United States as their main strategic ally. 

The Philippines led this group with an overwhelming 83.3 percent in favor of the U.S., followed by Vietnam at 79 percent, and Singapore at 61.5 percent. 

Support levels in these countries have remained relatively stable compared to the previous year, underscoring a consistent orientation towards American partnership amidst the shifting regional dynamics.

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