Vietnam bids to woo Cambodia, Laos from China

Recent meeting of Southeast Asian nations' leaders underlined Hanoi's push to restore strong ties with its old neighboring allies.

For the first time in many years, Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong held tripartite talks on September 26 with General Secretary of the Lao People’s Revolutionary Party Thongloun Sisoulith and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Analysts and observers saw the Hanoi-hosted talks as a significant move as Vietnam attempts to reassert influence over its two historic allies, which have increasingly turned to China in recent years.

The Vietnamese Communist Party has long considered itself the benefactor and “big brother” of Cambodia and Laos’ ruling parties, both of which it helped come to power in the 1970s. Vietnam almost single-handedly supported both countries’ socialist governments until they opened up to the outside world in the 1990s.

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