Southeast Asia: Clinton Visit Puts Spotlight on South China Sea

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Southeast Asia this week was expected to put a spotlight on territorial disputes in the South China Sea, as well as the growing significance of a relatively new actor in the region’s power plays: tiny, landlocked Laos. Mrs. Clinton was scheduled to spend Tuesday in Hanoi after stops in Tokyo and Mongolia, with plans to discuss the growing commercial and political ties between the U.S. and Vietnam. Washington and Hanoi have grown especially close over the past few years as Vietnam has grown more wary of efforts by China, its northern neighbor, to project influence across Southeast Asia, especially in the resource-rich South China Sea, parts of which are jointly claimed by China, Vietnam, the Philippines and other countries.


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