Southeast Asian diplomacy is instinctively promiscuous, not monogamous. The natural multipolarity of the region facilitates this instinct because it maximises room for manoeuvre and the exercise of agency.
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The Sino-India bilateral relationship has been premised on an understanding that the two nations can move forward on other areas of engagement as their border remains "hot" with military activity. Chinese actions are producing the opposite effect of what was intended, and India is now willing to adopt policies with a strong anti-China orientation.
COVID-19 and its attendant health and economic impacts have left no part of the world untouched. As the year has progressed, bilateral and multilateral relationships, especially with Australia, have played a very significant part in how Pacific island countries have prepared for and responded to the crisis.