China rises

China rises
China’s ascent to peer status with the U.S. is the century’s salient geopolitical fact. Beijing has used its growing power to turn neighbors into dependents and expand overseas. Its Belt and Road Initiative shows long-term vision but has also raised tensions along Asia’s rim. Internally, China faces financial and demographic challenges that will be hard to overcome, even as President Xi consolidates power.

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Map showing the location of Ream Naval Base, Sihanoukville and Dara Sakor

Cambodia works to balance regional powers

With a reported deal to allow the Chinese military access to a key naval base, Cambodia has gained the attention of those following the Sino-U.S. rivalry. For Phnom Penh, however, its partnership with Beijing is about carefully balancing Vietnam and Thailand, two strong regional powers with which it still has tensions. Cambodia shares a broad spectrum of interests with China, to a degree that the U.S., EU and Japan do not.

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