KEY POINTS
  • China emerges as the preferred choice over the U.S. if the Southeast Asia region were forced to align itself in the ongoing U.S.-China conflict, new survey findings showed.
  • This is the first time Beijing edged past Washington since 2020. The U.S. as a preferred choice dropped to 49.5% from 61.1% last year.
Female travelers viewing travel information via mobile apps during their visit to Wat Pho, Bangkok, Thailand.

A majority of Southeast Asians would align with China and not the U.S. if forced to pick sides, though some countries that feel threatened by Beijing's South China Sea claims still prefer Washington, according to a regional survey.

This is the first time Beijing has edged past Washington since 2020 when the annual survey first posed the question. The U.S. as a preferred choice dropped to 49.5% from 61.1% last year.