go to top
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a tour of Pha Tha Luang, Vientiane, Laos, Jan. 25, 2016 (AP photo by Jacquelyn Martin).

Laos Is Open for Business, but on Its Own Terms

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

When Barack Obama traveled to Cuba in March, he became the first U.S. president in almost 90 years to set foot on the island nation. But during the final year of his presidency, he will become the first-ever sitting U.S. president to visit another communist-ruled former foe: Laos. In September, Obama will go to its capital, Vientiane, for the summit of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Given Cuba’s proximity to Florida and the huge Cuban-American community in the United States, it is hardly surprising that Obama’s visit to Havana has attracted much more attention than his upcoming trip to Laos. But seen in a global geopolitical context, Laos is without doubt strategically more important than Cuba. The land-locked country’s population may be fewer than 7 million, but it serves as the buffer between China and the rest of Southeast Asia, over which Beijing is rapidly expanding its influence. ...

Want to Read the Rest?
Login or Subscribe Today.
Quarterly
$ 25 for 3 months
  • Two-week FREE trial access.
  • Cancel during trial and pay nothing.
  • Just $25 quarterly after trial.
Try It FREE
Annual
$ 75 for 1 year
  • Two-week FREE trial access.
  • Cancel during trial and pay nothing.
  • Just $75 annually after trial.
Try It FREE