Special Forum

Under President Xi Jinping, Southeast Asia occupies a special place in China’s foreign policy. Politically, the consolidation of good relations with countries there is an essential component of China’s periphery diplomacy. Within the framework of China’s ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), Southeast Asia sits at the juncture of the Silk Road Economic Belt (mainland Southeast Asia) and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road (maritime Southeast Asia). China is one of the top investors and plays a significant role in the infrastructure project financing in Southeast Asia, especially the mainland countries including Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. Among maritime countries, the role played by Chinese financing is also growing as attested by funding and investment pledges made to Indonesia and the Philippines in the past few years.

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