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Thailand's efforts to build Mekong bloc deserve support

Diplomatic alignment will strengthen area's hand in dealing with outside powers

| Southeast Asia
Leaders of participating countries during the opening ceremony of the 8th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy Summit in Bangkok in June 2018: The push has been slow to yield results.   © NurPhoto/Getty Images

Susannah Patton is director of the Southeast Asia program at international policy think tank Lowy Institute in Sydney.

Thailand, the heavyweight economy of mainland Southeast Asia, has for the last two decades been a diplomatic lightweight.

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