Since the sixteenth century, Southeast Asia has been open to maritime trade and political engagement, advanced and supported by naval and other military power. Although historical evidence demonstrates that international trade oc- curred prior to that time, often robustly, at various times Chinese imperial leaders sought to dominate the economic, political, and security elements of the region. During these periods, Southeast Asia fell under the sway of China’s vast continental power and whatever naval power-projection capacities emperors built to augment it.
"A Maritime or Continental Order for Southeast Asia andthe South China Sea?,"
Naval War College Review: Vol. 69
, Article 2.
Available at: http://digital-commons.usnwc.edu/nwc-review/vol69/iss3/2