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Suga gives Southeast Asia credible options besides China

Japan support crucial for a region struggling to counterbalance Beijing

| Japan
Yoshihide Suga, right, and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc during a welcome ceremony in Hanoi, pictured on Oct. 19: Suga deftly built on the strategic momentum.   © Reuters

Richard Heydarian is an Asia-based academic, columnist and author of "The Rise of Duterte: A Populist Revolt Against Elite Democracy" and the "The Indo-Pacific: Trump, China and the New Struggle for Global Mastery."

Speaking to the Americans about his concerns over Beijing's rising influence in Southeast Asia, the late Singaporean leader Lee Kuan Yew urged the U.S. to "give the region options besides China."

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