Southeast Asia Gains New Leverage as China and US Battle for Influence (Nikkei Asian Review)

Cambodia and other nations across Southeast Asia are emerging as vital staging grounds for a new form of power struggle between China and its rivals. The growth of Beijing’s vast Belt and Road Initiative since 2013 has galvanized the U.S. and its allies — including Japan, India and Australia — and prompted them to draw up infrastructure and security programs of their own.

For recipient countries of such Chinese and Western initiatives, there are both opportunities and risks. While some nations may still feel pressure to choose between benefactors, others now find themselves shifting from a position of weakness to one of strength — at least to exploit the competition as China, Japan and the U.S. all try to transform into kinder, gentler financiers. READ MORE

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