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US assault on Russian arms exports could misfire in Asia

Washington risks alienating friends in ASEAN and boosting China

| North America
China canceled the USS Wasp's visit to Hong Kong after the U.S. imposed sanctions for buying weapons from Russia.   © Reuters

When it comes to security in Asia, U.S. President Donald Trump should beware the law of unintended consequences.

His administration has identified Russia and China as the two greatest threats to the U.S.-led world order. Yet Washington's efforts to curb Moscow's global arms sales may have the unintended effect of obstructing some Southeast Asian countries' attempts to resist Beijing's relentless advances; they may even enhance China's influence.

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