Chinese Aid Wins Hearts, Twists Arms in Southeast Asia

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PHNOM PENH, Cambodia — In search of raw materials, China has increasingly used development assistance to court Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam, three countries “forgotten” since the Vietnam War. The U.S., too, has stepped up its activities in the region since the Sept. 11 attacks, although its efforts have focused more on counterterrorism cooperation than on directly addressing the growing Chinese influence. But as Southeast Asia increasingly becomes the object of the two powers’ attention, some in the region are expressing discomfort with their growing rivalry. A January 2008 report (.pdf) by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) noted that China outpaced […]

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