American foreign aid to 5 Southeast Asian countries to counter China!
Experts in Southeast Asia said that the goal of American foreign aid is to help five countries that have traditionally sought help from Beijing, by establishing partnerships, thereby further weakening China’s influence in Southeast Asia.
The Mekong-U.S. partnership which was established on September 11, 2020, will give America a lot of influence in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand, by providing assistance for numerous projects ranging from COVID 19 relief to drought relief measures.
Analysts say that US officials hope that partners in Southeast Asia will favor the generosity of American foreign aid, rather than China. Experts say that China has vigorously built infrastructure in Southeast Asia, but China has threatened water supply to the region through upstream dams, which has also put some countries in debt.
With China’s economic and military expansion abroad, the two superpowers of the United States and China, as rivals, are competing for the support of smaller countries in many regions of the world.
In Southeast Asia, the United States supports Vietnam’s resistance to China’s expansion in the South China Sea. The two Asian countries’ claims to the waters partially overlap.
The Washington partnership with American foreign aid, effectively replaced the 11-year-old “Lower Mekong Initiative” supported by the United States. The countries concerned signed a joint statement four days after forming a partnership, promising to strengthen “transparency” and “respect for sovereignty, non-interference with each other.”
Specifically, the American foreign aid partnership will bring relief to five Southeast Asian countries from the U.S. COVID-19 pandemic and an additional US $6 million will be added to the US $52 million already provided this year. This data will help the government decide the allocation of subsidies to farmers and flood prevention measures.
When talking about the 4,350-kilometer Mekong region, the joint statement stated that it is expected that the U.S.-Mekong partnership will bring about “high-quality energy infrastructure” that will help prevent illegal trade in wildlife and control floods and droughts. Measures.
Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political science professor at the University of Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, said the five Mekong countries want to avoid over-reliance on Chinese aid, especially by controlling dams upstream of the river. It will dry up the land of Southeast Asian countries that are downstream. Thitinan said that China uses its dam flow control as a “bargaining chip” in Southeast Asia.
CLMTV is an acronym for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. This 60 million people in the five countries depend on the Mekong for their livelihoods.
That’s it for now on American foreign aid to 5 Southeast Asian countries to counter China!