This research finds that China is yet to become a key player in disaster management in Southeast Asia, despite strengthened interactions, increased funding support, and disaster relief being a channel for trust-building between Southeast Asia and China since the 1990s.
Today's challenges of the China-Southeast Asia disaster cooperation include the changes induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the sensitive nature of military cooperation.
To move forward and enhance mutual understanding and trust between China and Southeast Asia on the topic of disaster management, the authors provide you with the following recommendations:
- The Chinese diplomatic mission to ASEAN can strengthen engagement with the relevant ASEAN bodies through joint activities.
- The disaster agencies in Southeast Asian countries and China can consider online meetings to maintain regular communication.
- China can improve its institutional arrangement to support its greater role in regional disaster cooperation and support the capacity-building of Chinese non-state actors for overseas operations.
- Chinese enterprises can become a bridge for disaster cooperation between Southeast Asia and China at the local level, in view of localisation of disaster relief in the region.
- The scenario of double disasters of a natural hazard and a public health emergency can become a component of joint military exercises.