2 July, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/27/2010
LAOS - UNITED STATES
Washington looks to Laos to contain China’s expansion
The small Asian nation central to the interests of the two superpowers. The United States intends to strengthen development programs in environmental, humanitarian, commercial and military sectors. Chinese dams on the Mekong threaten the ecosystem of the entire South-East Asia.

 Vientiane (AsiaNews / Agencies) - The United States intends to strengthen cooperation with Laos to balance the expansion of China in South-East Asia. After decades of suspicions and misunderstandings a hangover from the war in Vietnam, Washington has started a bilateral program of economic development that will mark four key areas: environmental protection in the Mekong River and the strengthening of trade; targeted programs in the humanitarian field, including the reclamation of land were there are still millions of unexploded bombs, collaboration between the two armies, with targeted training that includes the teaching of English.

The government in Vientiane has shown an attitude of "cautious opening" to the American proposals. A necessary decision, according to a lengthy analysis published by Asia Times, "to counter the growing Chinese influence in the country”. Some Laotians welcome the ties between the small country and the Asian giant, which guarantees a greater movement of goods and capital. However the concrete threat of “Chinese domination" is increasing, exacerbated by the invasion of workers which “threaten Laotian national sovereignty”.  Add to this is the impact of Chinese dams on the source of the Mekong River, which result in serious environmental consequences for the local climate and ecosystem.

Vietnam also supports improved relations between Washington and Vientiane, which has long been the Laos’ closest ally and is also increasingly concerned by encroaching domain of  China. Indeed, after two decades of the Cold War in the 70s and 80s of last century, since the Asian crisis of 1997 Beijing has started programs "generous" assistance to Laos, including grants, loans at low interest rates and technical assistance. China, unlike other Western nations does not care about human rights issues under the principle of non-interference in internal affairs of another country. A more pressing issue for European Union and the United States, which has affected the trade between Laos and the West to the benefit of Beijing.

To help relaunch relations between Washington and Vientiane, this month Kurt Campbell, deputy U.S. Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific,  completed a two-day visit to Laos in the context of a wider tour of Asia. He emphasized the willingness of Obama to launch "a high-profile relationship with the country and to improve, in general, cooperation with the nations of Southeast Asia.

The U.S. government wants to initiate innovative projects including the Lower Mekong Initiative, to protect the environment and ecosystem that revolves around the Asian river. It also involves Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. Added to this is the program of reclamation of land, beneath which millions of unexploded bombs are still hidden, which each year claim victims among the civilian population.

In the face of still insufficient trade compared to China and Vietnam, Washington has quadrupled in two years the volume of business, from $ 15 million in 2006 to 60 million in 2008. Humanitarian projects include specific programs to ensure livelihood and employment to ex-poppy farmers, health care and environmental protection. Finally, the resolution to broaden relations at a military level between the two countries, through the teaching of English and better training of the troops in Laos.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
10/27/2012 LAOS-CHINA
Gambling, the million dollar bet for Vientiane and Chinese companies
02/23/2009 CHINA - UNITED STATES
China and U.S. breathe sigh of relief: economy more important than human rights
by Wang Zhicheng
01/25/2014 LAOS-CHINA
Laotian farmers defy police and Chinese companies in defense of disputed land
02/05/2010 CHINA – UNITED STATES
“Panda diplomacy”, an opening in US-China relations
12/11/2008 VATICAN - PEACE 2009
Message for Peace 2009: the poor, wealth of the world
by Bernardo Cervellera

Editor's choices
ISLAM - MIDDLE EAST
Al Azhar and Vatican against terrorism. The ambiguity of the international community
by Bernardo CervelleraThe influential Sunni university denounces " heinous" violence of the Islamic state and demands the world defeat this group “through every possible means". Vatican: terrorism is a threat to all humanity. France claims to fight terrorism, but then sells weapons, aircraft, helicopter gunships to Saudi Arabia, which supports Islamic fundamentalism. Kuwait tolerates Salafis who support the Nusra Front and the Islamic state. Turkey against the Kurds; the United States against Iran, Russia and China.
TUNISIA - ISLAM
Tunis, stop terrorism by closing fundamentalist mosquesPresident Essebsi believes unified and global strategy needed to counter terrorism. The attack in Sousse almost simultaneous with those in France, Kuwait, Somalia. Islamic State claims responsibility.
VATICAN – ITALY
Pope in Turin tells young people to be chaste in love, go against the flow and not retire at 20In his last meeting on the first day of his visit to Turin, Francis met young people in Vittorio Square. In a Question and Answer exchange, he talked about love, friendship and loss of trust towards life. "I understand you. How many hypocrites speak of peace and sell weapons. How can one trust? By following Christ, whose act of extreme love, i.e. the Cross, saved humanity." The pontiff also looked at the horrors of the 20th century as evidence of the loss of trust towards world powers. He urged young people “not to retire at 20,” but “live, don’t just exist.”

Dossier

Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.