The Unz Review:ㅤBamboo Diplomacy: The China-SE Asia Romance, by Pepe Escobar

the-unz-review:ㅤbamboo-diplomacy:-the-china-se-asia-romance,-by-pepe-escobar

10-11-22 05:00:00,

(From Asia Times)

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations is monopolizing the Asian and Global South spotlight for no fewer than 10 days, this week and the next, across a flurry of regional and international summits.

First stop is Phnom Penh for the 25th China-ASEAN summit, the 25th ASEAN Plus Three (APT) summit, and the 17th East Asia Summit, all the way to Sunday.

Next week will be Bali for the Group of Twenty, followed by Bangkok for the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) summit.

No wonder the diplomatic spin across Southeast Asia is all about global governance entering the “Asia moment†– as coined by Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. It’s a moment that may be set to last a century – and beyond.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In parallel, Chinese diplomacy is also predictably on a roll. Premier Li Keqiang – who will step down next March, after two terms in office – heads Beijing’s delegation in Cambodia after two key Southeast Asian interactions: the visit by Vietnamese leader Nguyen Phu Trong to China and Chinese Vice-Premier Han Zheng’s visit to Singapore.

All that fits the pattern of increasing China-Southeast Asia integration. Since 2020, ASEAN has been China’s largest trading partner. China has been ASEAN’s top trading partner since 2009. Total China-ASEAN trade reached $878 billion in 2021,

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