In the face of a rising China, some scholars have argued that ASEAN countries will choose to either bandwagon with or balance against China, while others believe they will respond with a more moderate policy known as ‘hedging’. In considering these options, ASEAN countries must take into account their individual interests within the economic and security structure of this region. In this research, we argue that each ASEAN country confronts divergent sets of security and economic relations with China, which play a major role in shaping their policy responses. We can characterize their responses into four quadrants. Each cell can be categorized in terms of a high or low degree of threat perception (HT or LT) from China, as well as a positive or negative economic expectation (PE or NE) with China. We thus hypothesize that ASEAN countries in the HT–NE situation will balance against China; those in the LT–PE situation will bandwagon with China; those in the HT–PE or LT–NE situations will hedge against China. Hypotheses are supported by three case studies, Vietnam–China (HT–NE), Cambodia–China (LT–PE) and Singapore–China (HT–PE) relations.