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International relations

Beijing-friendly Cambodia and Laos pushed out to ASEAN's fringe

China's rise exacerbates Southeast Asian bloc's inherent tensions, experts say

PHNOM PENH -- Meeting with U.S. diplomats in 2007, Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's founding prime minister, offered a blunt assessment of some of the newer ASEAN members.

Laos was just an "outpost for China" and Cambodia's politics was "too personalized" around the country's longtime Prime Minister Hun Sen, the late Singaporean statesman said.

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