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BRI Scholar Reflects on U.S.-China Competition For Influence in ASEAN and the Critical Role of Railways

The new $6 billion China-Laos railway. Image via Xinhua.

The new $6 billion, 1,000-kilometer China-Laos railway that opened a couple of weeks ago is widely seen as the most visible evidence of Beijing’s push to expand its presence in Southeast Asia. The railway’s debut came just before U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited the region for the first time since the Biden administration took office.

Blinken is now on a three-nation tour of the region. He’s vowed that the U.S. will challenge China’s “aggressive actions” in the Asia-Pacific region. 

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