Adjunct Lecturer Marvin Ott publishes new work

Marvin C. Ott is an adjunct lecturer and visiting scholar in Southeast Asian Studies at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington, DC, in addition to teaching Southeast Asia and U.S. Security on the Homewood campus. Since the beginning of 2018, Professor Ott has published three articles surrounding China’s priorities in Southeast Asia. The first article, published in The Diplomat entitled “Deepening the US-Indonesian Strategic Partnership” emphasizes the importance of the United States working with its strategic partners, in this case, Indonesia, in an effort to combat China’s claim to the South China Sea and its growing influence in the region. Ott’s second work, “A New Chinese Emperor Rises,” published through the Foreign Policy Research Institute, discusses the ways in which China’s president, Xi Jinping, is positioning himself as Supreme Leader by attempting to change the Chinese Constitution to extend presidential terms indefinitely, something that was forbidden after the infamous Mao Zedong. In his article, Ott takes this discussion in a new direction, raising the concern that Xi’s success on the home front will encourage an even more aggressive, confident Xi on the international stage. This, coming at a time when the US President Donald Trump seeks to retreat from international obligations especially in Southeast Asia, is bound to be problematic for US strategic interests in the region. Finally, Professor Ott published “Chinese Strategic Assessment of Southeast Asia,” through the Wilson Center in which he is an Asia Fellow. The assessment compares two articles, “PRC Scholars on China’s Geostrategic Options Regarding Southeast, Central Asia” and “Chinese Maritime Strategy: the Basic Meaning and Background Analysis,” which were published originally in Chinese, in order to get a sense of local Chinese sentiment. With historical background for context, Ott is able to make seven insights into the regional priorities of the Chinese government. Through his three most recently published articles, Professor Marvin Ott is able to successfully craft a narrative on China’s priorities in Southeast Asia, taking into consideration its neighbors relations with the United States, its domestic politics, and its larger strategic goals in the region.