China tests its soft power in Southeast Asia amid coronavirus outbreak

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China tests its soft power in Southeast Asia amid coronavirus outbreakChina called for solidarity on Thursday in a special meeting to discuss the coronavirus outbreak with Southeast Asian nations as it faces criticism for its handling of the outbreak elsewhere. The hastily called summit in Laos signaled China is seeking support from smaller neighbors into which it has poured billions of dollars in infrastructure and investment in recent years. China’s foreign minister urged Singapore to ease its travel ban on Chinese visitors, while other nations are likely to face similar pressure at the meeting with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

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